Emmanuel Macron on Thursday voiced admiration for the "fabulous" 2,000-year-old Domus Aurea archaeological site - Roman emperor Nero's 'golden' palace - after a virtual reality tour of the restored monument.
Asked during a press conference what his impression had been of his hour-and-a-half-long tour of the ancient Roman monument, Macron quipped: "humidity and admiration".
Macron visited the Domus Aurea on Rome's Palatine Hill in wet weather together with Italy's prime minister Paolo Gentiloni and culture minister Dario Franceschini during a one-day visit to the Italian capital.
''It is fabulous and bears witness to European genius across all epochs," Macron told journalists after a meeting with Gentiloni.
Macron praised the work done by architects, archaeologists and technicians that had made possible the 3D tour of the Domus Aurea, which gives visual insights on how the palace looked in the first century AD.
France "wants to keep doing great things with Italy," Macron stated.
"We will continue to set ambitious goals between our countries and for Europe."