All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Museums of Rome
Rome is an open air museum: many works of arts embellish its streets and squares and
its churches contain paintings and sculptures of the greatest artists from Michelangelo to Raphael,
from Rubens to Bernini.
The museums of Rome complement the treasures on display in streets and churches with a
variety of collections which are usually located in palaces which per sč are a work of art, so that often the
container is as important as its contents.
The following is a list of the main museums and
archaeological areas (which often include a museum) of Rome.
Links to the museum web sites are usually to the Italian entry page which is more likely to be timely updated to reflect
changes in opening hours, ticket prices and booking arrangements.
Location of the main museums (1912 map)
I - Museo Nazionale Romano
|Museo delle Terme di Diocleziano||Via E. de Nicola 78 (K4)|
|It is located in part in Diocletian's Baths and in part in a nearby monastery designed by Michelangelo.
Its epigraphic collection helps understanding the variety of beliefs which coexisted in Rome during the Empire.|
|Palazzo Massimo alle Terme||Largo di Villa Peretti, 1 (K4)|
|A striking collection of ancient statues, mosaics, paintings and coins. A must.|
|Palazzo Altemps||Piazza di S. Apollinare, 44 (E4)|
|A collection of ancient statues
which once belonged to the Ludovisi and embellished their villa is now displayed in a late Renaissance palace with a charming loggia.|
|Cripta di Balbo||Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31 (G7)|
|A selection of ancient exhibits aimed at explaining the transition of Rome
from the Empire to the Middle Ages: it includes a visit to the walls of a Roman theatre.|
II - Other National Museums
|Museo e Galleria Borghese||Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5 (I1)|
|The two hours allowed for the visit are
not enough to thoroughly appreciate the paintings and
statues collected by the Borghese.|
|Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica a Palazzo Barberini||Via delle Quattro Fontane 13 (I4)|
|A fine collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings in a palace designed by Bernini with the assistance of Borromini and decorated by Pietro da Cortona.|
|Galleria di Palazzo Spada||Piazza Capo di Ferro 3 (E7)|
|The collection of XVIIth century paintings assembled by Cardinal Bernardino Spada is still arranged according to its owner's wishes.
|Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica a Palazzo Corsini||Via della Lungara 10 (D7)|
|A wing of the large palace houses the collection of paintings of Cardinal Corsini:
some rooms belong to the earlier palace where Cristina, Queen of Sweden, lived.|
|Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia||Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9 (NA)|
|Some of the finest Etruscan statues, tombs and vases in an elegant Renaissance setting.|
|Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna||Viale delle Belle Arti 131 (NA)|
|A very well arranged collection of paintings and sculptures of the XIXth and XXth century, including a large number of Macchiaioli and Futurist paintings.|
|Museo di Palazzo Venezia||Via del Plebiscito 118 (G6)|
|The museum for those interested in minor arts: ceramics, porcelains, bronze statuettes, ivory artefacts, rock crystal jewels.
|Museo di Castel Sant'Angelo||Lungotevere Castello 50 (D4)|
|A journey through the history of the building from
the inner Roman circular street to the Renaissance apartments of the popes and their trap-doors. |
|Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico||Piazzale Guglielmo Marconi, 14 (at EUR)|
|It includes part of the artefacts collected by
Athanasius Kircher (1602-80), a professor at
Collegio Romano; they were sent to him by the Jesuit missions in Asia, Africa and South America. |
|Museo dell'Alto Medioevo||Viale A. Lincoln 3 (at EUR)||A small museum where one learns that the Longobards praised their horses more than their women. A stunning IVth century Roman hall excavated at Ostia Antica is a very recent addition to the museum. |
Museo dell'Alto Medioevo: Opus Sectile at Porta Marina (Ostia Antica)
III - Archaeological Areas
IV - Museums belonging to the Holy See
|Musei Vaticani||Viale Vaticano 49 (A3)|
|Its many sections make it the Louvre of Rome:
unfortunately short opening hours do not allow enough time to see them all.|
|Museo Storico Vaticano||Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano (L9)||The container, the palace built by Pope Sixtus V, prevails on the content, which illustrates the history of the Papal State.|
Museo Storico Vaticano: (left) coat of arms of Pope Sixtus V; (right) the very simple sedan chair used by Pope Johannes XXIII
V - Museums belonging to the City of Rome
Museo della Civiltą Romana: large scale model of Rome in the early IVth century
|Musei Capitolini||Piazza del Campidoglio (H7)|
|The collections were started by the
popes in the XVIth century and include a large number of Roman statues: the terrace offers a striking view on the domes of Rome.
|Museo di Roma a Palazzo Braschi||Via di San Pantaleo (E6)|
|The last Roman
palace built by the relatives of a pope is worth visiting for its paintings illustrating Rome and its environs in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.|
|Centrale Montemartini||Via Ostiense 106 (NA)|
|A former power plant where the City of Rome has placed some of its ancient statues. It is an interesting blend of industrial and traditional archaeology. |
|Museo della Civiltą Romana||Piazza G. Agnelli, 10 (at EUR)|
|A collection of copies of Roman monuments in Europe,
Africa and Asia, with many large scale models of buildings and events.|
VI - Private Collections
|Galleria Doria Pamphilj||Piazza del Collegio Romano 2 (G6)|
|A rich collection of works by Caravaggio, Velazquez, Bernini and Algardi displayed according to the XVIIIth century taste.|
|Galleria Colonna||Piazza SS. Apostoli 66 (H5)|
|In addition to the fine collection of paintings it is worth visiting for the ceilings celebrating Marcantonio II Colonna and his role in the battle of Lepanto.|
The image used as background for this page shows Apollo del Belvedere, a masterpiece of the Vatican Museums.