Museums in Rome

The museums in Rome are second to none and known around the world for their cultural and historic offerings, from paintings, sculptures, ancient ceramics and more. Rome is a city that benefits from a wide range of these museums and every visitor should make the most of the smorgasbord of what’s on offer. From the iconic Vatican Museums to the MAXXI, Castel Sant Angelo and the Borghese Gallery, each museum has its own subject matter and specialty waiting to be discovered.

Vatican museums

The Vatican Museums are considered some of the best museums in the world in terms of their priceless artifacts and historic pieces of art, sculpture, and tapestries. Its contents are an estimated €15 billion and covering over 9 miles, the Vatican Museums are definitely packed with plenty to see. The Raphael Room, the Papal Entrance, the portraits of the Popes and the Sala Rotonda are some of the best things to see – and don’t miss the iconic Sistine Chapel, an exhibit in itself!

Address: Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma
Metro: Ottaviano-S.Pietro-Musei Vaticano (Metro A line)
Visit Duration: 4 hours

Museum of Rome

The Museum of Rome is a fine example of Baroque architecture and within champions some of Rome’s best art from the medieval ages to the twentieth century. It’s a fascinating museum in Rome to discover the forgotten art and artists, see frescoes, ceramics, and paintings you wouldn’t usually see. The Palazzo Braschi in which its housed is an important historic building in itself, built for Pope Pius VI’s nephew Luigi Braschi Onesti.

Address: Piazza San Pantaleo, 10, 00186 Roma
Tram: Arenula/Cairoli (Tram 8)
Visit Duration: 2 hours

Borghese Gallery

If you like your art, the Borghese Gallery is considered one of the finest museums in Rome for classical antiquities and paintings, as well as sculptures. You’ll find famous pieces on exhibit from Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath, as well as Young Sick Bacchus, and sculptures by the iconic Bernini dating back to the 1620s – including the iconic Apollo and Daphne. There are over two thousand years of works to admire, not to mention set in the stunning Villa Borghese Park offering you a picturesque setting once you’re finished.

Address: Piazzale del Museo, Borghese, 5 - 00197 Rome
Bus: Pinciana- Museo Borghese
Visit Duration: 3 hours

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums are the oldest national museums in the world, founded originally by Pope Sixtus IV in the 15th century. He donated a collection of bronze statues, making it the first museum open to the public and people of Rome. The museum is set within three historic buildings with a beautiful piazza in the middle. The museum is dedicated to art from Ancient Rome and features the She-Wolf, Hall of Tapestries and historic sculptures, artifacts, and mosaics.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1 - 00186 Rome
Metro: Colosseo (Metro line B)
Visit Duration: 2 hours

Ara Pacis Museum

Commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13 BC to honour the return of Augustus, this magnificent sculpture-come-structure depicts the Augustan victory in intricate engravings. Made purely of marble, it’s a spectacular example of the fine classic Roman skill and sculpture. It’s considered one of the most important pieces of ancient sculpture in Rome and is not one to be missed.

Address: Lungotevere in Augusta, 00186 Roma
Metro: Spagna (Metro line A)
Visit Duration: 2 hours

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica: Palazzo Barberini

One of Rome’s best museums and art galleries is the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini. Home to a fantastic collection of 16th-century tapestries, as well as works by Raphael and Caravaggio, visitors can admire the private collection within the former home of Pope Urban VIII. The palazzo itself is a testament to the Roman architecture of the time, complete with marble pillar and an orange garden.

Address: Via Delle Quattro Fontane, 13, 00186 Roma
Metro: Barberini (Metro line A)
Visit Duration: 2 hours

National Museum of Castel St. Angelo

Sat proudly on the northern bank of the River Tiber, Castel Sant’Angelo is Rome’s ancient fortress and mausoleum with a fascinating museum dedicated to exploring its past, from the role it played guarding the city, to being a papal refuge. Castel Sant’Angelo is over 2,000 years old – so that’s over 2,000 years of history to uncover within the museum. See the papal apartments, the statue of the angel and learn about the secret passageway into the Vatican…

Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50 - 00186 Rome
Metro: Lepanto (Metro line A) Ottaviano (Metro line A)
Visit Duration: 2 hours

MAXXI Museum

The MAXXI museum and art gallery in Rome is one of the finest museums in the world for the art of the 21st century. A real contemporary art gallery and museum, it was designed as a ‘multidisciplinary space’ by Zaha Hadid in 2010 and has been deemed to be the architect’s finest design to date. For those who like contemporary art and architecture, this museum is a must. See the permanent exhibitions and new works, commissions, and ones-to-watch.

Address: Via Guido Reni, 4a, 00196 Roma
Tram: Flaminia-Reni Visit
Duration: 3 hours

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