Exclusive hotel planned for ancient Rome

Italian authorities are planning to set up an exclusive 30-room hotel as part of a museum complex in the heart of ancient Rome with views over the Palatine Hill, newspaper reports said on Wednesday.

The hotel is in the draft project for a Museum of Rome - a 100-million-euro (132-million-dollar) programme set to be approved by Rome city council in January and completed in six or seven years, officials were quoted as saying.

"The museum will have not only the usual activities of a museum but also the innovative plan of a small quality hotel," Umberto Croppi, the top culture official in Rome city council, was quoted by Corriere della Sera as saying.

The planned museum in Via dei Cerchi next to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum will have 25,000 square metres (269,000 square feet) of floor space, as well as a 4,000-square-metre roof garden with views over ancient Rome.

Parts of the museum, which will include multimedia installations and an auditorium, are expected to be completed in 2014 - on the 2,000-year anniversary of the death of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

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