"Nero's palace"
by cm
Domus Aurea
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDomus Aurea - Credit: Howard Hudson

The Emperor Nero built the Domus Aurea (Golden House) after the Great Fire of Rome in 64AD, on land formerly occupied by the city's grander houses.  It covered an extensive area, between 100 and 300 acres, across three of Rome's hills.  Much of it has not yet been excavated. 

The decor was luxurious: marble, jewels, gold-leaf, ivory and frescos by Rome's finest artists. It had 300 rooms but no sleeping quarters: the purpose of the Domus Aurea was partying, not residential.

Open to the public for a time, the site has now been closed on safety grounds.