Rome to reopen Domus Aurea with interactive Raphael show

Archaeological site has been closed to visitors since March 2020.

Rome's Domus Aurea, containing the majestic remains of Emperor Nero's golden palace, is to reopen to the public on 23 June after an extended closure due to covid-19.

The Parco del Colosseo, the archaeological park which manages the site along with the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, will stage an exhibition there titled Raffaello e la Domus Aurea.

The show, which will delve into the ‘grotesque’ style rediscovered by Raphael and other Renaissance artists in the 16th century, was originally scheduled last year on the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death but was subsequently postponed.

Raphael was among a number of leading artists of the day - including Pinturicchio, Signorelli and Ghirlandaio - who lowered themselves with ropes into the site's “caves” or “grottoes” to witness the long-lost Roman frescoes by torchlight.

The fanciful figures and foliage motifs that the artists saw resulted in a fashion in “grotesques” that would influence the interior decoration of noble houses for the following three centuries.

The new exhibition at the Domus Aurea will feature "extraordinary interactive and multimedia devices" in the Octagonal Room and in the surrounding rooms, along with the promise of a tour "full of novelties."

Nero set about building his vast, sumptuous residence on the Palatine and Oppian Hills after the devastating fire of 64 AD, which destroyed much of the centre of Rome.

The Domus Aurea was originally a sprawling estate occupying 80 hectares surrounding the valley where the Colosseum was constructed a few years after Nero's death.

Details of visiting times and booking information for the Raphael exhibition will be released later this month. For updates see the Parco archaeologico del Colosseo website and its social media channels.

Cover image: Render Sala Ottagona. Allestimento e interaction design Dotdotdot.

General Info

Address Via della Domus Aurea, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

View on Map

Rome to reopen Domus Aurea with interactive Raphael show

Via della Domus Aurea, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy