Monday, December 17, 2007

Palace of the Emperor Augustus to Reopen

I'm so excited to see this note. My friend Richard White had previously toured the Palatine Hill and told me there wasn't much to see there. This will probably change his mind!

"Emperor Augustus' frescoed palace atop Rome's Palatine Hill, one of the city's famous seven hills, will partially reopen to the public March 2 after decades of restoration work, officials said Monday.

Since the palace was closed in the 1980s, experts have spent at least $17.6 million to restore the porticoed garden of Rome's first emperor and piece together precious frescoes that time had reduced to fragments. The palace was built in the first century B.C.

Groups of up to 10 people will be guided through the decorative marvels in Augustus' studio and in the hall where the emperor received guests, as well as rooms in the nearby palace built for his wife, Livia.

"We can finally enter into these places that have been preserved for some 2,000 years," said Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni.

Restoration of other parts of the residence will continue, officials said."

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