Visit and virtual reality at the Domus Aurea: marvels of the past reconstructed

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Hotel trevi collection | Multimedia Domus Aurea actually virtiale

Recipe for a perfect morning for summer tourism in Rome, tasty and easy to prepare: spend an invigorating night of rest at the’Hotel Trevi Collection; enjoy a rich and nutritious breakfast on the roof garden; walk towards the south, crossing the green Giardini del Quirinale; cross the characteristic Monti, taking care to see the glimpse of the Steps of the Borgias and the basilica of St. Peter in Chains; into the heart of Colle Oppio, the discovery of the Domus Aurea. Serve and enjoy, alone or in company, preferably accompanied by a good ice cream or a cold drink.

That was simple,? But if these claims may seem didactic in Rome, that certainly has plenty of similar cultural delicacies, the Domus Aurea constitutes an exception under different points of view. To the point that, Despite its notoriety, the Trevi group He has decided to devote the necessary attention to this amazing monument.


A visit to program well in advance

One of the main reasons why even many Roman citizens have never admired near the famous Villa Nero is the close of visitors possibility window. The site is in fact accessible only on weekends and only through booking and online ticket purchases. The tours follow one another at a rate of 15 minutes but may not be easy to find available seats for the desired time, especially for those who wait until the last minute to get organized.

But far from being a deterrent, this fact indicates significant interest surrounding the site and should be an additional incentive. Both of tourists and Romans, the most content themselves with the view of the visible surface remains, that emerge from the Colle Oppio park;. However, these constitute only a small part of the Domus Aurea complex that actually, as an archaeological iceberg, lurks beneath the surface its most imposing and massive structure.

One of the largest private residences and magnificent history buried ... to be forgotten.

The initial draft of this princely residence included a complex of structures and gardens covering an area of ​​about eighty hectares, which it stretched from the Palatine all'Esquilino. Despite its magnificence, this mansion, designed to rival the magnificent palaces of the Hellenistic kingdoms, could not, however, to rid of the shadow of Nero and uncomfortable memories of his principality. So, once you came to power, Trajan ordered its disposal: most of the land was returned to the people of Rome and the walls of the main building were buried and used as the foundation for its new large thermal plant.

The Domus was stripped of precious materials that could be reused; art objects, avidly collected by Nero, exposed in public places; the rooms of reinforced retaining walls and filled with earth, to support the weight of the new Baths of Trajan. Finally, where once resided a large artificial pond, It was built a few decades later the Colosseum. A palace worthy of a legendary tale, completely dismantled to clear the most obvious evidence of the dark years of Nero's power.


An excellent guide and a great use of virtual reality.

The guided tour lasts about an hour and a quarter. So much time is required to visit this site buried, and the maximum stipulated time to spend in such a humid environment. Despite summer temperatures outside, indeed, inside the open portion of the Domus, there are around 13 degrees and a humidity that is around 90%. It is therefore advisable to take precautions of a sweater or a light jacket. The yard is closed to visitors during the week for the restoration work, therefore inside there are some scaffolding.

These, however, do not scratch the great beauty that arouses the visit. The guides are prepared and available and accompany groups of visitors along the entire path. Despite era interventions Traianea and the erosion of time, it is hard not to be amazed at the massive proportions of the spaces and despite meager traces of the rich decorations (enough to suggest the original appearance of the Domus).

The multimedia interventions are effective and well dosed. The first is an interesting initial introductory film, projected directly on the brick walls of a large gallery; the second in a virtual reality movie, appositivi enjoyed by viewers, about half of the visit. Multimedia is now a household item, recurring in many initiatives in Rome but, the Domus Aurea, It expresses undoubtedly at its best. The video showing the reconstruction of the Villa and dell'Urbe scene in the first century d.C. It is not only cleverly realized on a technical level and graph, but also it characterized by a certain lyricism directorial.

In the most sensitive souls can not but arouse a bit of heartfelt longing for the princely beauty of imperial Rome ... an awareness that allows you to see with new eyes the present and the charm of this timeless city.