Tag Archives: Suetonius

Emperor Nero villa reopens

The first large villa constructed for Emperor Nero (37 – 68 AD) on the Palatine Hill in Rome is opening its doors to public. ‘Domus Transitoria‘ (Transitory House) was opulent and refined, erected with the grandeur inspired by the Ptolemaic palaces.
The villa was closed down and buried at the emperor’s order after the great fire of Rome in 64 AD and replaced with the larger and more sumptuous Domus Aurea (Golden House).

After a decade long restoration, the villa’s 800 square meters will open to the public as part of a new guided tour on Nero daily from Monday to Friday.

The tour is reserved to small groups of visitors who will be able to admire the colored marbles, fountains and red porphyry columns thanks to the new lighting and 3D visors.

The villa is dedicated to water, one of the reasons why it has been confused for a long time with the thermal baths of Livia, archaeologists say.

Columns and niches decorate this opulent space.
Archaeologists explain that Emperor Nero enjoyed to spend the hottest hours of summer days in this room, under a large patio, which was probably covered with a wooden decorated ceiling or perhaps only protected by opulent curtains.

In 59 AD, the Emperor Nero was determined to have his mother assassinated. Historian Suetonius claims Nero tried to poison her 3 times. After a number of failures, he finally plotted a sinking of her boat, the accident she did not survive.

Emperor Nero made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of many of his contemporaries  this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. Nero’s extravagant program of public and private works was funded by a significant rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes.