Domitian's ramp up to Palatine Hill opens to public

(AGI) Rome - Part of a vast monumental ramp entranceto the palaces of Roman emperors on the Palatine Hill opened tothe  

(AGI) Rome, Oct. 20 - Part of a vast monumental ramp entranceto the palaces of Roman emperors on the Palatine Hill opened tothe public on Tuesday for the first time, more than a centuryafter it was discovered. The imperial ramp ordered by theEmperor Domitian could be visited in the Roman Forum. Built inthe second half of the first century, the ramp, which wasrecently restored, linked the Forum, the political andadministrative heart of the city, to the centre of power: theImperial Palace on the Palatine Hill. The symbolic value ofthis grand entrance, a true ascent to the residence of theemperor, is still evident to anyone who crosses the threshold.The Aula that in the Middle Ages was transformed into theOratory of the Forty Martyrs was an integral part of the rampand can also be admired by visitors, as well as guard posts andutility rooms. The ramp consisted of seven zigzag ramps, fourof which remain today, and rose up to 35 metres. Tours of theramp end with a breathtaking view looking over the Roman Forum.A special exhibition was set up for the opening, showcasingimportant artifacts found in the area of the Roman Forum. Francis Prosperetti, head of 'Soprintendenza Speciale per ilColosseo', one of the organisations that contributed to theexhibition, was clearly pleased with the opening: "This is animportant milestone: the ancient passageway between the Forumand the Palatine Hill is once again accessible," he said. "Theramp, inside the huge complex of buildings built by EmperorDomitian to celebrate his reign, is unique and impressive. Itwill be exciting for visitors who as of today can finallyaccess the site. The monumental ramp entrance was brought tolight in 1900 during excavations conducted by Giacomo Boni. Thearchitect-archaeologist reconstructed part of it. Therestoration carried out by the Soprintendenza does not onlyinvolve the ramp, which is the most recent intervention, butalso the Aula that forms the entrance to the complex ofDomitian that is connected to it." (AGI) .