Rome’s Domus Tiberiana Reopens After Six Years of ‘Reconstruction’

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The rehabilitated Domus Tiberiana in Rome, Italy opens you up to a world of luxury and splendour. Closed down some six years ago after the top tourist site in Rome experienced degradation and the crumbling of some of its walls, the ancient imperial palace now boasts precious finds of pottery, sculpture, and amphorae that open the rich doors of impeccable history behind the Domus Tiberiana.

Located near the Roman Colosseum, the Domus Tiberiana was the first imperial palace to be built in Rome by Emperor Tiberius. It featured large gardens, residences including places of worship, and rooms for the emperor’s elite guards.

Built in the first century, Rome’s first imperial palace is located on the oldest hill in the capital Palatine Hill. it was dearly cherished by succeeding emperors who made efforts to enlarge and grace the palace with more sophisticated features and views. One such emperor was Nero who was coronated on the steps of the palace at age 16 in 54 AD.

Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum’s archaeological park and who was a part of the restoration journey, is reported by CNN to have said that there is more work to be done on the palace.

“This monument speaks of history,” Russo added. “We have restored (Domus Tiberiana) to its past splendor, but more work lies ahead.”

Alfonsina also highlighted that other artefacts  -bright stuccos, frescoes, amphorae, potteries, looms, terracotta, and divinity statues related to the cults of Isis, Dionysius, and Mithras-  that were recovered during the project further beautify and deepen the ancient stories of the Domus.

“They make this place — formerly (inhabited) by aristocratic families, then Roman emperors — feel alive again,” she said. “There are seven exhibition rooms full of extraordinary finds, starting with those preceding the original construction of the palace when aristocrats lived in mansions before Tiberius subsumed them into the Domus.”

Alfonsina Russo added “What makes this revamped Domus unique is the architectural style. …We managed to use original materials to reinforce and strengthen the handmade 15-meter (50ft) tall front arches (which run alongside the palace’s) ancient paving.”

The Domus Tiberiana was opened to the public at the end of September 2023 and has since attracted over 400,000 visitors who couldn’t wait for the hottest tourist site to reopen.

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