The palace of the Roman emperor who allegedly torched the imperial city can now be admired in all its splendor after being buried for centuries thanks to a virtual reality tour highlighting some of its majestic rooms.

After a lengthy restoration project, Nero's amazing Domus Aurea palace will offer, starting from Saturday, tourists and locals, a 3D multimedia visit every weekend by prior booking with groups limited to 24 visitors at a time.

Whoever approaches the archeological site that stands in front of the Colosseum will be able to admire through 3D glasses the Volta Dorata hall and some exterior sections of the edifice, such as its facade or the Oppio Hill gardens.

Rome's special archeological superintendent Francesco Prosperetti officially inaugurated the project this week and highlighted the innovative multimedia experience.


The immersive virtual reality in Prosperetti's opinion enables visitors to recover a memory forgotten since the times of Emperor Trajan, as the palace was destroyed after Nero's death in 69 AD.

Nero, the last emperor of the Julia-Claudius dynasty, ordered the construction of this incredible palatial complex, built after the fire that razed Rome to cinders in 64 AD, a calamity that some historian blame on Nero's extravagant madness.

The Domus Aureus was one of the most luxurious residences of antiquity, with walls covered in frescoes and marble and its sprawling grounds hosted an expanse of vineyards, forests, an artificial lake and a variety of treasures brought from the Orient.

After Nero's death, in 69 AD, successive Roman emperors tried to get rid of the palace, its halls were looted, defaced and filled with earth, to the point that the Domus Aurea remained entombed for centuries and its frescoes were only rediscovered during the Renaissance.

The excavation in the palatial area did not get underway until 1772, after the discovery of the Pompeii frescoes, which were buried after a Vesuvius eruption that took place in 79 AD.

Nowadays, Rome is endeavouring to restore this important archeological site and the Italian Ministry of Culture set aside 13 million euros ($A18.4 million) within a three-year budgetary plan approved last year.

Prosperetti explained that a complete restoration of the Domus Aurea would require a 30 million euro budget and added that, until 2018, the main priority will be to secure the palace ruins.

Afterward, they will proceed to restore and protect the interior spaces, a work the superintendent acknowledged will require a lot more time.