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Domus Romane of Palazzo Valentini

Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini

A fascinating underground itinerary in the Rome of the imperial age, the real nerve centre of the cultural and political life of the Eternal City.

In front of the Forum of Trajan, during excavation and redevelopment works in 2005, between five and seven metres below the 16th-century Palazzo Valentini, an extraordinary archaeological area came to light, consisting of two sumptuous patrician dwellings dating back to the 4th century AD, equipped with a private bathing area and belonging to influential families of the time.

Through the accurate multimedia and computer graphics reconstruction by Piero Angela, Paco Lanciano and a team of technicians and experts, since 2007 you can relive the magnificence of the Domus that belonged to the noble Roman families who had established their residence there. The masonry structures, rooms, baths, decorations and furnishings have been recreated to take you on a suggestive virtual journey through imperial Rome.

The tour begins at the thermal complex of the Small Baths of Trajan, in whose central pool the hosts could relax after the gymnasium. The pools were equipped with a private water system, a luxury that only the wealthiest citizens could afford.

The visit continues by entering the laconicum, a bathhouse in which the temperature reached 50 Celsius degrees, thanks to a furnace fuelled by wood burnt by slaves. The other thermal baths: the calidarium, tepidarium and frigidarium, were used to adapt the body to different levels of heat. In the frigidarium, a marble head of the goddess Minerva dating back to the 1st century AD was discovered, which was already an antiquity for the time.

The baths lead directly into the patrician house and into one of its lounges whose floors and walls are covered with precious polychrome marble.

Over the centuries, the original appearance of the halls was modified by medieval and Renaissance walls, which, however, allow us to reconstruct an important piece of the ancient topography of this place. The area of the private baths was also full of debris from the collapse of the upper floor, possibly caused by an earthquake in 538 AD. There are, in fact, horizontal fractures in the marble slabs and traces of a fire that probably started after the seism.

From the removal of detritus used to fill in the ground before the construction of Palazzo Valentini, a portion of a Roman paved road from the 1st century AD emerged, consisting of large stone blocks 30 centimetres thick and weighing between 50 and 300 kg. Two statues were also found in the same area. A monumental staircase led to the upper floor of the domus where there were rather small bedrooms. The domus also had a library for studying and reading papyri, as well as a large kitchen.

The hall of the second domus features an extraordinary mosaic floor with geometric and floral designs, later cut in two by the 16th-century wall of the palace. It took about half a million tiles and hundreds of thousands of tesserae to create it. Another mosaic is located in the adjoining room, which probably displayed a colonnade that opened towards the gardens of the house.

The material from the excavations is organised in a small museum exhibition and helps to trace the customs and traditions of the various eras the building passed through.

The tour culminates in a large reconstructive model of the area in Roman times and the phases passed through by Palazzo Valentini, thanks to which you can immerse yourself in the urban context of the period with its historical stratifications.

To re-launch the Domus of Palazzo Valentini, and to make the visit experience even more exciting and engaging, in 2023, the technological support system for multimedia narration has been completely renewed with the introduction of new-generation, high-definition video projection equipment.

Even the sound diffusion technology, fundamental for the best experience of the Domus visit, has been fully restructured with the addition of individual listening through exclusive headphones thanks to which you can enjoy a memorable immersive experience with commentary and soundtrack in high quality.

The new audio broadcasting system also allows for multilingual fruition, which in the Italian version is narrated by Piero Angela, while in the other languages  ̶  French, English, German and Spanish  ̶  the text is translated and interpreted by professional voice actors.

The enhancement of the multimedia project also includes the creation of an accessible website for people with hearing, visual, cognitive and motor disabilities.

Photo: Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale



POINT (12.484206 41.896023)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 10.00  to 19.00 (last admission 18.00)
EXTRAORDINARY OPENINGS from 4th August 2023 to 10th September 2023
Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 19.00  to 24.00 (last admission 23.00)

CLOSING DAYS 1st of May, 15th of August

Before your visit, check the information on opening hours at this link > Opening times

Online purchase:
Telephone purchase: 
06 87165343
Web site:
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Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini, Foro Traiano, 85
Foro Traiano, 85
41° 53' 45.6828" N, 12° 29' 3.1416" E


To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.

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