Visit one of Rome's most fascinating treasures – the remains of the patrician Domus (residential complex) of imperial Rome under Palazzo Valentini.
The excavations of the Domus are now a permanent exhibition that enriches the historical and artistic heritage of Rome, thanks to the discoveries that have allowed us to reconstruct an important part of the topography of the ancient, medieval, and modern city.
The scenic route through the remains of the patrician Domus of the imperial age, which once belonged to powerful families, is rich with mosaics, wall decorations, polychrome floors, paving blocks, and other remains. The excavations have been further enhanced with virtual reconstructions, graphics and videos. You'll see walls, rooms, peristyles (columned porches), kitchens, baths, furnishings and decorations all come back to life, as the ruins of this great Domus of ancient Rome are completed and brought to life by projections and light effects.
ADDRESS: Palazzo Valentini – Via IV Novembre 119/A – 00187 Rome (just off of Piazza Venezia).
Every day from 9.30am to 5:30pm.
Closed on Tuesdays, December 25, January 1, and May 1.
Guided visits in the following languages:
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Palazzo Valentini, seat of the Province of Rome since 1873, was commissioned to be built in 1585 by Cardinal Michele Bonelli, a nephew of Pope Pius V. In the seventeenth century it underwent renovation and a series of extensions were added by Cardinal Carlo Bonelli and Michele Ferdinando Bonelli. The building was partially demolished and then rebuilt by Francesco Peparelli for the new owner, Cardinal Renato Imperiali, who created an important family library (the 'Imperiali' library), comprising about 24,000 volumes.
In the early eighteenth century, the building was leased to several prominent figures, including the Marquis Francesco Maria Ruspoli, who lived there between 1705 and 1713. The Marquis used it as a private theater and hosted famous musicians of the time, including Georg Friedrich Händel, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Arcangelo Corelli. The entire building was then purchased in 1752 by Cardinal Giuseppe Spinelli, who moved the Imperial Library to the ground floor for public use. It was often frequented by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, considered by many to be the father of the discipline of art history. In 1827 the Prussian banker and Consul-General Vincenzo Valentini bought the building, making it his home and giving it its name.
Visit the fascinating remains of the patrician "domus" of imperial Rome, belonging to powerful families, with mosaics, wall decorations, polychrome floors, paving blocks, and other remains. The excavations have been further enhanced by a project curated by Piero Angela and a team of experts, including Paco Lanciano and Gaetano Capasso, who have recreated the past with virtual reconstructions, graphics and videos. Visitors can see walls, rooms, peristyles, kitchens, baths, furnishings and decorations all come back to life, as the ruins of this great domus of ancient Rome are completed and brought to life by projections and light effects.
A new important sector has been added to the archaeological zone and museum. In the underground area opposite Trajan's Column, you'll see the remains of a monumental public or sacred building. It consists of a great concrete platform, walls made of large blocks of travertine and tuff, and the remains of colossal columns made of single grey Egyptian granite blocks (the biggest to be found in ancient Rome). The bricked rooms with vaulted ceilings, seem to date from the early years of the emperor Hadrian, according to stamps on the bricks. This new area also boasts an exhibition, curated by the same team, which shows you how the area of Trajan's Column looked at the time of its construction. A working model recreates the buildings as they appeared then, especially the huge Ulpian basilica, which stood right next to the column. A video brings to life the two adjacent buildings, perhaps libraries.
Finally, a virtual reconstruction of the column gives you a close up look at the bas-reliefs and the story they tell of Trajan’s military campaign – the conquest of Dacia, present day Romania. An extraordinary event that ended with the death of King Decebalus and the emperor’s triumph.
This museum space is a unique and magnificent example of how the artistic heritage of antiquity, regenerated by careful and painstaking restoration, can be enhanced with the use of new technologies.
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