The Palatine hill, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Rome has undergone a thorough checkup to ascertain the state of all of its buildings and the results show that many of them are close to collapse and large areas are already closed to the public. To save the whole site will cost 130 million.

The Palatine hill is about 27 hectares, on one side it overlooks the Roman Forum and on the other the Circus Maximus. An easily defended area with steep slopes down to the marshy valleys below, the Palatine became a desirable residential area after the founding of the Republic in 590 BC with great families building their homes there. Finally Tiberius built his imperial palace on the hill, the first of the imperial palaces that went on to cover almost all the hill.

Three months ago a wall in a part of the Palatine collapsed following heavy rain. Work will begin in the summer to remove the risk of buildings collapsing and for emergency repairs, then a programme of restoration and consolidation will begin. The work will have to be done without closing the Palatine to the more than four million tourists who pay to visit the site annually.