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Domus Aurea - The Golden House of Emperor Nero

May 25, 2008
Recently an important attraction in Rome was opened for public viewing again. While the Golden House of Nero is not at its full splendor, it has been carefully restored. It was during the Renaissance that these ruins were found. But a huge project to restore them was carried out at the end of the last century.

Everybody knows that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. The Golden House of Nero was built in 64 AD after that huge disaster and it is filled with amazing finds. Nero spared no expense on himself using gold plating liberally and filling the ceiling with precious stones to honor himself. Sadly, these riches cannot be viewed if you go there. Looters had their way with the Golden House of Nero not long after the decadent ruler passed away.

We know from history that the original complex easily covered 350 acres and supported a lake that was created for Nero, as well as fine vineyards and other luxuries. A strange quirk of the house is that even with 300 rooms, there were no bedrooms. But when you think of the wild orgies Nero threw, every room was a bedroom in that respect.

One of the amazing art works that is now located outside the Colosseum was a magnificent 40m (130ft) high statue that was on the grounds of the house It was a triumphant image of Nero that he made to honor himself.

If your trip to Rome includes a tour of this fascinating old house, it will be a great experience even though the house was destroyed centuries ago. And since Rome is a delightful destination - especially in the fall when the temperatures are perfect, touring Nero's house fits any vacation agenda.

A great way to take in this ancient structure is through the guided underground tour that goes lets you view the amazing paintings in the vaults and rooms. This is a rare chance to see artwork done by the famous artist Fabullus who used the Pompeii artistic style.

Fabullus isn't as well known to us but his work was inspirational to Michelangelo and Raphael as well as diverse characters like Casanova and the Marquis de Sade. So keep a sharp eye out because these historic characters actually signed the walls of Nero's house and you may see those signatures on your tour.

The tour will open your eyes to another world as you see ruins still not fully restored, hiding amazing ancient art works. But when you see rooms that look like they did during Nero's time, the artwork and luxurious design will take your breath away.

You will get a good exposure to grotto style rooms during your tour. But when you enter the amazing Octagon room, it will be a true highlight of the day. This room showed Nero's admiration of that famous emperor and the Dying Gaul statue that was housed there, that can now be seen elsewhere at the Palazzo Altemps museum.

After the tour of the building, taking in the gardens is a great way to end the experience. You will enjoy seeing a model of the octagonal room because it will give you such a good feel for what life was like long ago in Nero's day when this amazing house was his home.
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