Of the ancient ruins on Rome’s Palatine Hill, the House of Livia (Casa di Livia) impresses with its well-preserved frescoes and mosaic floors. Built for the wife of emperor Augustus in the first century BC, this residence has an elegant entrance, atrium, and courtyard that's been excavated.The Basics
Though House of Livia is still being excavated, visit to see intricate frescoes creating trompe l'oeil effects like faux coffered ceilings. Views through open windows have been unearthed, as well as black-and-white geometric mosaic floors. Both can be seen only on a scheduled tour via the Super-Palatine ticket, which you must purchase in advance of your trip. The ticket includes entrance to House of Augustus and other Palatine Hill ruins.
Alternatively, book a private tour of Palatine Hill that includes a guided visit to the ruins, along with skip-the-line entrance to nearby ancient Roman monuments such as the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- To visit the ruins, you must book well in advance online and select an available slot for one of the House of Livia guided tours.
- The House of Livia and other sites on Palatine Hill are a must for Roman history buffs.
- Most of the hill ruins are open to the elements, so bring a hat and sunscreen in summer, and dress warmly in winter.
- The archaeological site is spread out over a hillside along rough paths and uneven surfaces, so wear comfortable shoes.
- The House of Livia is accessible to wheelchair users via an elevator.
Palatine Hill is the most central of Rome’s historic seven hills, located just above the Roman Forum. The nearest metro stop is Colosseo along line B.When to Get There
Since most of the archaeological ruins on Palatine Hill are outdoors, tour on a day with clear skies and mild temperatures. In summer, the best times to visit are the cooler early morning or late afternoon hours.
The Ancient Ruins on the Palatine Hill
Remains of a number of imperial palaces and villas are spread across Rome’s historic Palatine Hill. The most famous include the House of Augustus and House of Livia, but visitors can also see the Emperor Domitian’s Domus Flavia and Hippodrome, and tour Palatine Museum, home to both a collection of artifacts discovered in the area’s archaeological digs and a historic reconstruction of the huts where Romulus and Remus lived.