Museums and galleries of Rome that everyone should visit

In any tourist trip, especially to Italy, there comes a moment when you need to touch high art, and not just sunbathe on the beaches. Here is our selection of ten of the best museums and galleries in Rome.

We recommend visiting museums in the afternoon, when the tourist flow decreases slightly.

Vatican Museums

A huge complex of museums (Musei Vaticani), located on the territory of the Vatican. It includes 54 galleries, including the Apostolic Library, Rafael Stanzas, the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. The museum was founded by Pope Julius II in 1506. The first exhibit was the sculptural group “Laocoon and Sons”.

  • We recommend visiting the Vatican only with professional guides
  • Read also how to buy tickets to the Vatican Museums without waiting in line.

National Museum of Rome

The National Museum of Rome (Museo Nazionale Romano) occupies three buildings:

  1. The Baths of Diocletian, in their halls a collection of antique inscriptions and sculptures is stored.
    Balbi script containing excavated artifacts.
  2. The Palazzo Altemps, which houses 104 antique sculptures of the Ludovisi family, the Egyptian collection and the Mattei collection.
  3. The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, where the richest collection of antique frescoes, jewelry and coins is located. Surprisingly, you can look at the money that paid Julius Caesar himself!

Borghese Gallery

The Galleria Borghese Gallery is rightly called the “Queen of Private Collections”. The beginning of a rich gathering was laid by Cardinal Scipio Borghese. Now you can see wonderful examples of ancient art and the best sculptures of Bernini.

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Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) are located in the three Capitoline Palaces - Senators, Conservatives and the Palazzo Nuovo. The beginning of the museum collection was laid by Pope Sixtus IV, presenting in 1417 to the Roman people antique bronze statues. Today, the Conservatives Palace contains a rich collection of antique artifacts, the most valuable of which is the original Capitoline Wolf. The new palace boasts unique mosaics from the villa of Emperor Hadrian.

National Gallery of Ancient Art

The National Gallery of Ancient Art (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica) is located in the palaces of Barberini and Corsini. The first one contains such masterpieces as the Raphael “Fornarina” and “Judith and Holofernes” by Caravaggio, as well as many paintings by Titian and El Greco. In the second - the same Caravaggio, Rubens and Brueghel.

Villa Julia

On the territory of Villa Giulia is a museum of Etruscan art with interesting exhibits of the material culture of a vanished civilization. The exposition dedicated to the funeral Etruscan cult is especially great. The building itself was previously the summer residence of the popes.

  • We advise you to read about the most beautiful villas and palaces of Rome

Doria Pamphili Gallery

The Galleria Doria Pamphilj Gallery is a private gallery with a rich collection of art. Italian painting of the 17th century is best represented - paintings by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio. Also impressive is the collection of marble reliefs by Duquenois.

Palazzo and Spada Gallery

The private collection of the Spada Gallery (Palazzo e Galleria Spada), dating back to the 17th century, includes works by Titian, Guido Reni, Rubens and other prominent Renaissance masters. An interesting attraction of the palace is the prospect of Borromini, which is a gradually narrowing corridor. A sixty-centimeter figure of a horseman, placed at the narrow end of the corridor, looks as if it is reaching average human height!

National Gallery of Modern Art

Rome knows no shortage of samples of ancient art. But the time has come to somehow introduce the modern! For this purpose, an exhibition hall was built next to the famous Villa Borghese, where in 1915 the National Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderno) was opened. Italian futurists and realists (Renato Guttuso) were exhibited here, a sculpture of the 19th century is represented by the works of Canova and Jimenez. In the middle of the XX century, the gallery was replenished with the works of foreign artists: Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso.

Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderno) is housed in a brewery, the official opening took place in 2002. The works of the most famous masters of the Italian art scene are exhibited here. The museum has a library, a bookstore and a multi-level terrace with an outdoor rooftop cafe.



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