The Domus Aurea, Emperor Nero’s large villa in the heart of Rome, has reopened to the public.
The monument was closed for years after several parts had begun collapsing. The opening was funded in part by media company Sky Italia, while the upkeep to protect the site against ground instability and water infiltration is expected to be provided by crowdfunding, an initiative sponsored by Italy’s Culture Ministry, which is hoping to raise €31 million.
"This is an innovative way of protecting our glittering cultural heritage," Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said. He also urged private companies to follow the example of Sky and Tod’s (which is funding the restoration of the Colosseum), by helping fund art sites.
The Domus Aurea was built by emperor Nero after the great fire of Rome in 64 AD destroyed the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. When it was completed, it stretched for 50 hectares and covered most of the Palatine and Celian hills.
Franceschini said the Domus "encapsulates the splendor of history".
Tours of the Golden House, offered in Italian, English and Spanish, last an hour and are strictly reservation-only. The tours take place on weekends so archeologists can keep working on the site, which is still undergoing massive maintenance and restoration. Visitors have access to parts of the restoration work and are required to wear a protective helmet.
To follow the restoration project and to reserve your visit, click here.