Today we headed to the Palatine Hill to see the recently opened Casa di Augusto - which opened to the public in March this year. We entered the Palatine Hill from Via di San Gregorio which leads to the Colosseum. Our 11EUR ticket also covered entrance to the the Colosseum and the Roman Forum - which is an excellent deal really.
Today, however, we were to visit the Casa di Augusto - the House of Augustus - which provided the impetus for this trip in the first place.The restoration of Casa di Augusto has taken decades to complete and over two millions euros of expenditure. But what a return on investment.
Octavian, as he was known before he took the name Augustus on assuming the role of Emporer, certainly had what we would now consider to be an ornate house, but it was described by historians of the time as a modest house on the Palatine Hill. The frescoes which adorn the walls depict various scenes. One room appears to depict a theatre - a stage is frescoed onto the wall appears three-dimensional and doors appear either side of the stage. The barrel vaulted cielings are decorated in geometric shapes. A hunting scene is depicted in one image.
Whats amazing is that this residence, dating from over 2000 years ago, has been restored and the vibrancy of the colours. There's a lot of reds, blues and ochres are clear in the decoration.
Augustus House is a fascinating insight for those of us are curious as to what Roman houses might have looked like when standing and decorated - especially the house of a man who would become the first Roman Emporer. The house is, of course, dwarfed by the scale of the palace he built on Palatine - but thats another story.
As the House is quite delicate, only five people at a time are admitted to see the house. But don't be put off by the queues - rest assured your time is well spent.
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Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook