Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini is a gem of an attraction, definitely worth the entry fee. Like the city itself, the site has multiple layers of historical significance (ancient, medieval, and contemporary), each of which is to some extent explored in the presentation and guide. It wasn't discovered until 2006 when digging began for a parking lot, so the site is still very much a work in progress in terms of excavation, and the ticket price is no doubt subsidizing some of that. The multimedia overlay (aural and visual) vivify the the ruins, and, as others point out here, help the untrained person appreciate what to look for when exploring other ruins. I did not find the effects Disney-esque and instead found them informative (that is--effects weren't primarily for show; they're trying to help visitors access a related experience). In my haste to prepare our itinerary, I somehow missed the fact that the tour includes extensive information about the Trajan Column, and, indeed, after you finish with the palace, you move to an area for another full presentation on this other marvel, and then you get to look at the column from its base giving you a perspective no other tourist is able to have. I visited with my very smart but impatient 10 year old son. He really enjoyed the palace tour and was attentive throughout (though the British-hybrid accent was sometimes difficult for him to understand--it is pre-recorded), and that part was just the right length for him. The Trajan Column presentation happened in what was "overtime" for his attention span, and frankly, I similarly found it hard to take in much more information at that point. That's unfortunate, because the concept of the Trajan Column presentation, which is not as sophisticated or creative as the palace presentation, is a good one--it tries to teach visitors how to read the story of the column and to imagine the motivations for creating it and what its significance might have been for its earliest visitors. It takes a little advance planning to work this into a busy schedule, but it is worth it. There are very few available seats for each tour and only a few English tours each day. Reserve in advance, and enjoy.
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