The House of Augustus, imperial residence of Caesar Augustus, is one of the most imposing Roman ruins on the city’s ancient Palatine Hill. This palace is home to remarkably well-preserved fresco wall paintings from the first century BC, depicting landscapes and theatrical scenes in bright colors and meticulous detail.
Roman Emperor Augustus built his opulent Domus Augusti (or Augustus' House) adjacent to the Temple of Apollo on Palatine Hill and decorated the inside with sumptuous frescoes that can still be seen during a private tour of the palace today. A number of palaces and villas built during the Roman empire are located in this archaeological complex, as well as the Palatine Museum, home to a collection of artifacts and a reconstruction of the huts where Rome's founder Romulus and his brother Remus lived.
The House of Augustus and other Palatine Hill ruins are not easy to interpret, as they are much less preserved than those in the Roman Forum. To best understand the palace's role in Roman history, join an Ancient Rome private tour that includes special access to the House of Augustus and the House of Livia (Augustus' wife), along with other ancient Roman monuments like the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The ruins are only open to guided tours reserved in advance, so booking a House of Augustus tour ahead of time is imperative.
- Many small-group tours of the ancient city include a skip-the-line Colosseum tour and visits to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill ruins.
- Parts of the ruins are open to the elements, so bring sunscreen and a hat in the summer, and dress warmly in winter.
- The House of Augustus is located on the hillside along rough paths and uneven surfaces, so not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.
How to Get There
The House of Augustus is located inside the Palatine Hill archaeological complex near the Roman Forum and Colosseum. You can take one of the many city buses to the terminal in Piazza Venezia, or metro line B to the Colosseum stop.
When to Get There
Parts of the ruins are outdoors, so visit on a day with clear skies and mild temperatures. During summer, the best times to visit are in the early morning or late afternoon. The House of Augustus is closed Tuesday and Thursday.
The House of Livia
Along with the House of Augustus, some of the best examples of ancient Roman frescoes are in the adjacent House of Livia, residence of Augustus’ wife.