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Nerone tour

Nerone tour

per person
1 Notte
16+ Age

The magic and amazing architectural inventions of the Emperor Nero’s residences, from the grandiose Roman residence of the Domus Aurea to the villa on the Aniene river, a refuge for the summer months among waterfalls, water games and caves.

This tour, from Rome to Subiaco, is designed for the months between June and September, imagining the same journey of the Emperor Nero: away from the Roman heat to arrive at a peaceful holiday between the lush nature and the fresh waters of the Aniene river.

We pass through via Sublacense, the road built by Nero himself to reach his home “out of town”.

The Villa di Subiaco predates the Domus Aurea, but the ingenious alternation of dams, terraced pavilions and cuts in the rock supports the hypothesis that the designers of both were Severus and Celer, two architects who loved to harmonize urban elements with scenographic inventions.

The tour is divided into two half days between Saturday and Sunday, taking into account that the Domus Aurea can be visited only on weekends and that a free tourist transport is available in Subiaco on summer weekends. Therefore we start on Saturday afternoon from Rome (we are in the Colosseum park), continue towards Subiaco for an enchanting night in the village, proceed on Sunday morning to the Villa di Nero along the Aniene, close with a bath in a corner of paradise, the lake of San Benedetto.

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  • Departure/Return Location
    Domus Aurea – Subiaco – Villa of Nero – San Benedetto lake
  • Dress Code
    casual, comfortable shoes, hat with visor, swimsuit, small backpack with a change
  • Included
  • Not Included
    Valle dell’Aniene

Tour Plan

First stop: Domus Aurea
In the valley where the Colosseum stands today, the Emperor Nero, after the fire that destroyed Rome in 64 AD, built his grand residence which has gone down in history as the “non plus ultra” of opulence. The Domus Aurea was designed by the architects Severus and Celer, and decorated by the painter Fabullus. It included various buildings, banquet rooms (including the famous "coenatio rotunda" which rotated on itself to allow diners to enjoy 360 degree views of Rome), gardens, woods and even a large artificial lake. The visit to what remains of all this magnificence today is "underground": After Nero's death, his successors wanted, in fact, to erase all his traces: everything was emptied and buried. But today, thanks to virtual reality, it is possible to visit the Domus in all its splendor. Thanks to special glasses you can walk in Nero's palace up to look out to admire the panorama of Rome, as it was then. The visit will also explain how the remains of the Domus remained unknown until the Renaissance. Only then, after some fortuitous discoveries, artists passionate about antiquity such as Pinturicchio, Ghirlandaio, Raphael and Giulio Romano began to descend from above into those "underground caves", to copy the decorative motifs preserved. Curiosity: the visit uses multimedia tools: immersive reality and video-story. These are two of the 12 stages of the journey: the emotional projection on the history of the Domus Aurea in the entrance gallery, and an installation in virtual reality inside the "Golden vault room" Duration of the visit: one and a half hours Ticket price and opening hours: The site is accessible only every Saturday and Sunday with a guided tour and reservations required, from 9.15 to 16.15. Ticket: 14 euros + reservation fee (2 euros). Reduced 10.00 euro + booking fee (under 12 years of age), free for children under 6 years + booking fee. Online presales www.coopculture.it and at the call center at the number dedicated to the service 06.39967700. The booking office is open from Monday to Friday from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 17. Saturdays from 9 to 14.
Second stop: Subiaco by night
From the center of Rome, once the visit to the Domus Aurea is over, you can move to Subiaco: it is an hour's drive from the Colosseum, but it is also easily accessible by public transport. It is one of the most enchanting villages in the Aniene Valley where it is worth pausing for an evening stroll, a typical dinner and an overnight stay. A stop in a medieval village rich in history, art and culture, the cradle of monasticism: the two most important sites are the monastery of Santa Scolastica and the incredible monastery of San Benedetto, nestled in the mountain rock, the Saint's place of meditation for thirty years. Curiosity: Subiaco is considered the cradle of the press because Italian publishing was born here: between 1464 and 1465 the first book was printed in the monastery of Santa Scolastica. From the monastery presses came the volume "De divinis institutionibus adversus gentes" by Lactantius. Duration of the visit: evening and night Cost of the ticket: free tour
Third stop: Villa di Nerone in Subiaco
Sunday morning is excellent for a new walk in the village and to reach the terminus of the free buses to Villa di Nerone, in just five minutes. The villa, built before 60 AD between the Simbruini mountains, it stretched over 75 hectares and consisted of at least five nuclei along the Aniene river, which was barred with dams to form the lakes called "Simbruina stagna". The Sublaqueum (name handed down from Tacitus) anticipated the Domus Aurea, built after the fire of 64 AD What you can imagine is a place of architectural wonders between water games and natural elements, a distinctive trait of the emperor described by Tacitus as "covetous for impossible things". The first nucleus consists of about twenty rooms for spas and residence, a cistern and an elliptical tank for fish breeding. During the last excavations (1994-99), the remains of another nymphaeum were found under the apsidal nymphaeum, also from the Neronian period, possibly destroyed by natural causes, which had a barrel vault with inserted medallion mosaics (decoration reassembled inside the Ceselli Museum in the Monastery of Santa Scolastica). Curiosity: reuse at the beginning of the 6th century has been documented, by Benedict (future saint and patron of Europe). Some parts of the Villa were incorporated into the ancient monastery of San Clemente. Duration of the visit: 1 hour Ticket price: free admission
Fourth stop: San Benedetto lake
From Villa di Nerone, just walk 800 meters to discover an enchanted lake with a waterfall in which to take a bath and spend a pleasant afternoon in the same waters of the Anene river craved by Nero. And if you have a sandwich in your backpack, perhaps based on typical products purchased in the morning in the village, you can also have a quick lunch in the picnic area, equipped with wooden tables and seats in the heart of a landscape made of woods , rock and noise of water. The Aniene dives into the pond through a small waterfall. Characteristic is the descent of the path that reaches the river. From a wooden bridge you can see the water flowing under your feet. Considered by many to be a corner of paradise in the spiritual heart of monasticism. Curiosity: so much is the peace and clarity of the water that the place is also known as "The Caribbean of Lazio". Duration of the visit: free Ticket cost: to be checked

Come spostarsi

  • Il punto di partenza del tour è la Domus Aurea, all’interno del parco archeologico del Colosseo. Scendendo dalla metro B alla fermata Colosseo (da Guidonia Montecelio e da Tivoli basta arrivare alla stazione Tiburtina) si è già nel cuore dell’area archeologica. Sono solo 550 metri per giungere alla meta: viale della Domus Aurea 1. L’ingresso si raggiunge entrando nel parco del Colle Oppio, dal lato di via Labicana.
  • Finita la visita, per passare alla tappa successiva, ci si può tranquillamente affidare ai mezzi pubblici: la metro B per arrivare a Ponte Mammolo, capolinea dei bus Cotral che portano direttamente nel cuore di Subiaco. E da Subiaco, per muoversi verso la Villa di Nerone e verso gli altri luoghi di interesse fuori dal borgo, si può approfittare di un trasporto locale (gratuito), attivo da giugno a settembre tutti i fine settimana. La prima corsa alle 9,30 e l’ultima alle 17. La linea A parte dal capolinea e fa cinque fermate (piazza del Campo, Villa di Nerone, Monastero Santa Solastica, Monastero San Benedetto, Rocca Abbaziale) prima di tornare al punto di partenza. Una seconda linea, la B, è una navetta che collega il capolinea con il laghetto di San Benedetto (e viceversa) con partenze ogni 60 minuti tra le 10 e le 16. Dal capolinea si possono poi riprendere i bus che portano verso Roma, anche passando per Tivoli e Guidonia.
Dalla Domus a Subiaco
  • 70 km, in auto tramite A24 poco più di un’ora di percorrenza, con i mezzi pubblici 10 minuti di metropolitana fino a Ponte Mammolo e poi bus Cotral fino a Subiaco (circa un’ora).