Transitory House

About the Transitional House

Domus Transitoria, meaning "transitory house" in Latin, was a palace located on the Palatine Hill in ancient Rome. It was built by Emperor Nero after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, which destroyed a large part of the city. The palace was constructed as a temporary residence for Nero while his main palace, the Domus Aurea, was being built. However, the Domus Transitoria was never fully completed due to Nero's death in AD 68.

Despite its incomplete state, the Domus Transitoria was a remarkable architectural achievement. It covered an area of about 3,000 square meters and consisted of a series of lavish rooms and gardens adorned with exquisite frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures. The palace was also equipped with innovative features such as a revolving dining room, an underground maze of tunnels and a cooling system that used water from the nearby Aqua Claudia aqueduct.

The Domus Transitoria was rediscovered in the 16th century when Renaissance artists such as Raphael and Michelangelo explored the ruins and were inspired by the palace's ornate decorations. Over the centuries, the palace's ruins were subject to extensive looting and damage, and only a few fragments of the original decorations remain today. Despite its relatively short existence and incomplete state, the Domus Transitoria remains an important archaeological site that offers valuable insights into the architecture and artistic achievements of ancient Rome. It is a testament to the opulence and extravagance of Nero's reign, as well as the technical and artistic prowess of the ancient Roman builders and craftsmen.

Architecture and Design

The Domus Transitoria was a sprawling complex that covered over three acres of land. It was divided into different sections, each featuring a unique architectural style and decorative motifs. The palace included large courtyards, colonnaded halls, and private rooms for the emperor and his family.

History of the Palace

The Domus Transitoria was built by Emperor Nero after the great fire of Rome in 64 AD. Nero had the palace constructed on the site of several existing buildings, including a former palace belonging to Emperor Augustus. The palace was designed as a lavish retreat for Nero, who was known for his extravagant lifestyle and love of the arts.

Gardens and Fountains

The Domus Transitoria featured several large gardens and courtyards, which were adorned with fountains, pools, and exotic plants. These gardens provided a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and were designed to showcase Nero's love of nature and beauty.

Reconstruction and Restoration

The Domus Transitoria were damaged by several fires and earthquakes over the centuries, and much of the original structure has been lost. However, in recent years, archaeologists have been working to excavate and restore the palace, using the latest technology to create a virtual reconstruction of the original structure.

Influence on Later Architecture

The Domus Transitoria was a pioneering example of Roman architectural design, and its influence can be seen in many later structures, including the nearby Domus Augustana and the grand villas of Renaissance Italy. Its ornate decoration and elaborate gardens set a standard for luxury and refinement that would endure for centuries.

Tours and Visits

Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the Domus Transitoria as part of a guided tour of Palatine Hill. These tours offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of ancient Rome and allow visitors to see firsthand the opulence and grandeur of Nero's palace.

Legacy of the Palace

The Domus Transitoria may have been a symbol of Nero's excess and extravagance, but it also represents an important chapter in the history of Rome and the evolution of Roman architecture. Despite its destruction and decay, the palace continues to inspire awe and admiration, as a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient Romans.

Art and Decoration

The Domus Transitoria was adorned with a wealth of ornate decorations, including frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures. The palace was famous for its use of vibrant colours and intricate designs, which were often inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. Some of the most impressive features of the palace included a giant statue of Nero himself and a room covered in gold leaf.

Life in the Palace

The Domus Transitoria was the center of Nero's private life, and it was here that he entertained guests, held lavish banquets, and pursued his artistic interests. The palace was also home to a vast collection of art and literature, which Nero enjoyed studying and sharing with his friends.

Know Before You Go to Transitional House

Essential Information
How To Reach


  • The Apostolic Palace is located within Vatican City, an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy.
  • It stands adjacent to St. Peter's Basilica and is situated on the Vatican Hill.

Opening Hours:

  • The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope and is not open to the general public.
  • However, some areas of the palace, such as the Vatican Museums, are accessible to visitors.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The best time to visit the Apostolic Palace is during the summer months, particularly May to September, when the weather in Rome is pleasant and conducive for outdoor activities.
  • It's advisable to check the Vatican Museums' official website for information on visiting hours and any temporary closures or restrictions.

Know More: Best Time to Visit Rome

By Bus: Public buses operate in Rome and connect various parts of the city to Vatican City. Visitors can use bus lines that stop near Vatican City, such as bus numbers 40, 62, 64, and 81.

By Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Rome, and you can easily find one to take you to Vatican City. Taxis offer convenience and door-to-door service, but it's important to ensure that the taxi is licensed and uses a meter or agrees on a fixed price before starting the journey.

By Train: Rome has a well-connected train network. The closest train station to Vatican City is Stazione San Pietro, which is a short walk from the Apostolic Palace.

By Walk: Vatican City is a small city-state, and it is also possible to reach the Apostolic Palace on foot from various points in Rome, especially if you are staying in the central area


What is the Domus Transitoria?

The Domus Transitoria is a monumental palace built by the Roman Emperor Nero in the 1st century AD. It was located on Palatine Hill in Rome and served as a transitional residence between his previous palace and the much larger Domus Aurea.

What was the purpose of the Domus Transitoria?

The purpose of the Domus Transitoria was to serve as a transitional residence for Nero while he oversaw the construction of his much larger and more extravagant palace, the Domus Aurea. It was intended to be a temporary residence, but it was still a grand and impressive palace in its own right.

Do Checkout the nearby restuarants of St. Peter's Basilica

What did the Domus Transitoria look like?

The Domus Transitoria was a vast and luxurious palace, covering an area of approximately 20,000 square meters. It was adorned with intricate frescoes, marble floors, and elaborate mosaics, and was filled with ornate furnishings and decorations. The palace also had a series of gardens, fountains, and pools, all of which were designed to showcase Nero's wealth and power.

What happened to the Domus Transitoria after Nero's death?

After Nero's death, the Domus Transitoria was abandoned and largely forgotten. It was eventually buried under layers of earth and debris, and its ruins were only rediscovered in the 16th century. Many of the palace's decorations and furnishings were looted or destroyed over the centuries, but some fragments still survive and are on display in museums around the world.

Can visitors see the Domus Transitoria today?

The Domus Transitoria is not currently open to the public, as much of the site is still undergoing excavation and preservation work. However, visitors can see some of the surviving fragments of the palace's decorations and furnishings in the Palatine Museum in Rome. Additionally, a virtual reality experience has been created that allows visitors to explore the palace as it would have looked during Nero's reign.

Also learn about St. Peter the Apostle

What are some of the must-see attractions in Rome?


About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Copyright Policies | Terms and Conditions

The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyright vests with the respective owners.

© 2024 All rights reserved.