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Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea)
Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea)

Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea)

Via della Domus Aurea,1, 00184, Rome, Italy

The Basics

Nero’s Golden House—designed primarily for the ruler’s leisure and entertainment and named for its facade decorated in marble and gold leaf—covered much of the area around the Palatine, Esquiline, and Oppian Hills in the heart of ancient Rome. The palace originally had more than 300 rooms exquisitely decorated with precious ivory, mosaics, frescoes, gem-studded ceilings, and grand fountains. Among the most important architectural aspects were two dining rooms flanking an octagonal room, the dome ceiling of which could be rotated to look like the sky. There were also sweeping gardens with an artificial lake and a colossal statue of the emperor. Today only around 20 percent of the original complex is still standing, including 30 rooms that reopened to the public in 2014.

You can view the palace’s architecture and art, more than 2,000 years old, only as part of a hard-hat Domus Aurea tour led by an archaeologist guide, so booking ahead is imperative, especially in summer. Tours of the Golden House include a virtual reality experience: you don augmented reality 3D glasses to see what the palace would have looked like in its heyday. Many tours combine a visit to Nero’s house with the nearby Colosseum and Roman Forum.

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Domus Aurea Tour, The Golden House of Nero with 3D Virtual Reality
Domus Aurea Tour, The Golden House of Nero with 3D Virtual Reality
star-5
$56.47 per adult
Traveler Favorite
My favorite tour
This is definitely a hidden gem. It’s not as awe-inspiring as the more famous Roman attractions but this was my favorite tour in Rome. Small group with very few other tourists around, just one other group present during our visit. Very interesting history and a neat 3D virtual demonstration of what the palace looked like.
Jason K, Oct 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Go 'Underground' to Experience the Oldest Part of Rome!!
DeborahW_W, Jan 2022
Domus Aurea Golden House of an Emperor Semi-Private Tour
Daniele and the Domus Aurea tour are fantastic, a real must-do in Rome! Meeting was timely and the value of being able to see inside the 'Golden House' of Nero was priceless. Daniele was so knowledgeable and passionate about this Roman treasure and it made the ancient experience come alive. Small group kept the tour moving along and the newly opened part of the excavation was worth it. Highly recommend!
star-4
Great visit but Viator need to sort out their system
Caroline_E, Dec 2021
Nero's Golden House restoration site TOUR + Exhibition of Raffaello
The Domus Ayres is wonderful- Viator’s ticket system awful - the links never brought up the actual ticket
star-4
Great tour
Nicole_M, Nov 2021
Nero's Golden House restoration site TOUR + Exhibition of Raffaello
I loved seeing the change from when I visited two years ago. Only downside it would have been nice to have a small headset as I feel we may have missed some things as our guide was very quiet. Also I would have loved some information on Nero himself
star-5
Golden experience!
Mary_M, Oct 2021
Domus Aurea Golden House of an Emperor Semi-Private Tour
The Domus Aurea with the special Raffaello exhibit was wonderful! Our guide Daniele was very knowledgeable and personal. A special experience!
star-5
Off the beaten path!
Randall_P, Oct 2021
Nero's Golden House restoration site TOUR + Exhibition of Raffaello
An “off the beaten path” tour! Excellent presentation, we learned a lot and really enjoyed this tour! Don’t miss it!
star-5
Great, but too expensive
Jaap_S, Oct 2021
Nero's Golden House restoration site TOUR + Exhibition of Raffaello
Wonderful, but the price of a ticket is 19,50 euro and I paid 50 at Viator. So somebody did get a lot of money being person-in-between.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Nero’s Golden House, an active archaeological site, is a must-see for ancient history and archaeology buffs.

  • The multimedia tour makes use of Oculus Rift VR glasses, which are not recommended for children under 13, or for those with epilepsy or serious eye conditions.

  • There is some walking involved to visit the site, so wear comfortable shoes.

  • The Golden House is not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.

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How to Get There

The Domus Aurea is located in the center of Rome on the Palatine Hill. Take metro line B to Colosseo, the closest stop.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Nero’s Golden House is open for tours only on Saturdays and Sundays, so be sure to book in advance, especially in the summer months.

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The Rediscovery of Nero’s Palace

After Nero’s suicide, subsequent emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Trajan buried Nero’s domus to build their own palaces above. The last of these buildings were Trajan’s Baths, under which the complex was rediscovered in the 15th century. Before the site was excavated and opened to the public, Renaissance artists including Pinturicchio and Raphael would lower themselves down inside the buried villa on ropes to study its intricate frescoes and decorations.

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