Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea) Tours

The Roman emperor Nero was not known for his restraint, and the Golden House (Domus Aurea) reflects his decadent taste and lifestyle. Built after Rome’s great fire in AD 64, the remains of this sumptuous pleasure palace, covering nearly one-third of the ancient city of Rome—dwarfing the nearby Colosseum—are now open to the public. 

The Basics
Nero’s Golden House—designed primarily for the ruler’s leisure and entertainment and named for its facade decorated in marble and gold leaf—covered much of the area around the Palatine, Esquiline, and Oppian Hills in the heart of ancient Rome. The palace originally had more than 300 rooms exquisitely decorated with precious ivory, mosaics, frescoes, gem-studded ceilings, and grand fountains. Among the most important architectural aspects were two dining rooms flanking an octagonal room, the dome ceiling of which could be rotated to look like the sky. There were also sweeping gardens with an artificial lake and a colossal statue of the emperor. Today only around 20 percent of the original complex is still standing, including 30 rooms that reopened to the public in 2014.

You can view the palace’s architecture and art, more than 2,000 years old, only as part of a hard-hat Domus Aurea tour led by an archaeologist guide, so booking ahead is imperative, especially in summer. Tours of the Golden House include a virtual reality experience: you don augmented reality 3D glasses to see what the palace would have looked like in its heyday. Many tours combine a visit to Nero’s house with the nearby Colosseum and Roman Forum. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Nero’s Golden House, an active archaeological site, is a must-see for ancient history and archaeology buffs.
  • The multimedia tour makes use of Oculus Rift VR glasses, which are not recommended for children under 13, or for those with epilepsy or serious eye conditions.
  • There is some walking involved to visit the site, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • The Golden House is not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.  

How to Get There
The Domus Aurea is located in the center of Rome on the Palatine Hill. Take metro line B to Colosseo, the closest stop.

When to Get There
Nero’s Golden House is open for tours only on Saturdays and Sundays, so be sure to book in advance, especially in the summer months.  

The Rediscovery of Nero’s Palace
After Nero’s suicide, subsequent emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Trajan buried Nero’s domus to build their own palaces above. The last of these buildings were Trajan’s Baths, under which the complex was rediscovered in the 15th century. Before the site was excavated and opened to the public, Renaissance artists including Pinturicchio and Raphael would lower themselves down inside the buried villa on ropes to study its intricate frescoes and decorations. 
Location
Address: Via della Domus Aurea,1, 00184, Rome, Italy
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Admission: Varies
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5 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Rome City Small-Group Bike Tour (with optional Electric-assist bicycle)

This Rome bicycle tour combines top sights with a few lesser-known attractions and alleyways for an interesting and active way to enjoy the best of the Eternal City. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll cycle past ancient landmarks like the Pantheon, admire chic shopping streets, check out bustling squares like Piazza Navona and see beautiful churches. Limited to 10 people, this tour provides a small-group experience. Select a departure time when booking.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$56.77 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$56.77 USD

Nero's Palace Tour with Colosseum and Ancient City

Explore Rome’s ancient sites on a 5-hour, small-group tour of Domus Aurea, or Nero’s ‘Golden House,’ the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. Step into buried history with archeologist guides and use 3D glasses to see Nero’s palace as it once was, then hear stories about Rome's golden age as you walk through the heart of the ancient Roman Republic and Empire. This small-group tour includes all entrance fees and skip-the-line access.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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$114.70 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$114.70 USD

Colosseum and Hard Hat Tour of Emperor Nero's Golden Palace

Explore Rome’s most grandiose ruins on this combo tour of the Colosseum and the Domus Aurea, known as Emperor Nero’s buried ‘Golden Palace.’ Hear tales of gladiators and animal hunts inside the Colosseum, and then don a hard hat to discover the decadent past of Nero’s massive underground villa, uncovered during the Renaissance. Later, visit two other must-see imperial relics with included tickets to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.
  • Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
From
$91.53 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
From
$91.53 USD

Virtual Reality of Emperor Nero's Palace and Colosseum - Small Group Tour

Skip the line with priority access tickets to the Colosseum during this small group tour. Learn about this Ancient Roman landmark and its notorious gladiator battles in a group limited to six people. The tour includes Virtual Reality glasses for seeing 360-degree elaborate reconstructions of the Domus Aurea, Emperor Nero’s palace.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$103.11 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$103.11 USD

Airport Transfer Arrivals Plus Tour of Rome

At your service, the driver will wait you at the airport and bring you to your destination in Rome. Choose when you want to start your self-guided private-tour. The chauffeur can show you the most attractive places of the city at your arrival or when you prefer during your holidays in Rome. The service is available from 1 up to 8 passengers. No stress, no waste of time searching or waiting the taxi at the airport, know in advance how much you are going to spend. A professional driver (not a guide) will wait you at the airport to bring you wherever you want in Rome and than you will admire the city with a 3 hour private tour.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$225.92 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$225.92 USD


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