After Decades of Closure, Rome’s Historic Palatine Hill Palazzo Opens to Tourists Again

After Decades of Closure, Rome's Historic Palatine Hill Palazzo Opens to Tourists Again

In the latest development, an ancient Roman imperial palace atop Palatine Hill in the city has been reopened to tourists on Thursday, almost five decades after it closed for restoration. The Domus Tiberiana, which is nearly 2,000 years old and used to house rulers during the ancient city’s Imperial period, now welcomes visitors. This vast palace offers panoramic views of the Roman Forum below.

After years of structural restoration work, the public can finally explore this historical site. Excavations conducted here have unearthed artifacts from centuries of Roman life following the decline of the empire.

The director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, which includes Palatine Hill, described the restored palace as the ultimate “power palace.”

On the eve of the reopening, Official Alfonsina Russ expressed that the sprawling palace appeared infinite, and its grandeur rivaled that of the sky.

Although the domus, or residence, is named after Tiberius, who ruled the empire after Augustus, archaeological studies suggest that the palace’s foundations date back to the era of Nero, shortly after the devastating fire of 64 AD that struck much of the city.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the residence endured centuries of abandonment until the 1500s when the Farnese noble family created an extensive garden around the ruins. With the palace now open to the public, visitors can gain a better understanding of the routes taken by ancient emperors and their courts on their way to the domus.

Located on the northwest slope of the hill, the Domus is considered the first true imperial palace. Besides serving as the emperor’s residence, it featured gardens, places of worship, accommodations for the Praetorian Guard responsible for the ruler’s protection, and a service area for workers overlooking the Roman Forum.

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