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5 Best Museums to visit in Rome

Rome is an open-air museum, but some of them "hide" behind beautiful walls and are definitely worth a visit!

Source Pixabay
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5 Best Museums to visit in Rome

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and, although its strength lies precisely in its beauty, its art, its history, its monuments, its spectacular churches and fountains, we can safely say that Rome offers tourists, and its many visitors, a number of unique museums in the world. It is not easy to classify the five most important museums in Rome, not least because the city itself can be considered an open-air museum. Let’s go to our post of the day: 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

1) 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! VATICAN MUSEUMS

We started this list with the Vatican Museums, a rare gem. The Vatican Museums are located within the Vatican City State and are one of the largest collections of art in the world, as they exhibit a huge collection of works of art accumulated over the centuries by the popes, successively. That is why the lines at the entrance are very long, especially during the high season or around the holidays. To avoid the long lines, it is preferable to book tickets online or visit it with a small group tour where you will be able to learn all about this museum! Find out here How to visit the Vatican Museum

Important Tip

To visit all museums, one day is not enough; always wear comfortable clothes and establish what you want to see from the start. Remember that on the last Sunday of each month, the museums will be open and free, but honestly, I do not think it is worth it because you will waste hours in line to get in. It is much better to use all the time you have to visit other places in Rome. Find out here how to visit St. Peter’s Basilica

Museum Complex

What started as just a small collection of sculptures has been transformed, over the centuries, into a museum complex that includes one of the best collections of art in the world, and each year more than six million people visit the Vatican museums. Nowadays, the Vatican museums are a set of thirteen museums in a huge architectural complex, and are made up of two Vatican palaces. Read also How to use the subway in Rome?

Among the wonders contained there is the masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel, one of the most famous artistic and cultural treasures in Vatican City and the world; is on the way to the Vatican Museums, so you can visit with the same ticket. In the chapel, one can admire masterpieces by Michelangelo, such as the ‘The Last Judgment’ and ‘The Creation of Adam’. Marbles, frescoes and works decorate all rooms and corridors. All routes end at the Sistine Chapel, which is really the culmination.

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome
Source Vatican

2) 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! CAPITOLINE MUSEUMS

The second must-see is the Capitoline Museums. The birth of the Capitoline Museums goes back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated to the Roman people a group of bronze statues of great symbolic value. The collections have a close connection with the city of Rome, where most of the work comes from. The glories of Rome, the Roman Empire and its most important protagonists are represented in these museums, in a unique and valuable collection, which will leave you breathless. SHALL WE VISIT THE CAPITOL?

Museum collections

Perhaps the most-known work is the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, in the center of the square, and it is a replica, while the original is in the new grand glass hall, Marco Aurelius Exedra, in the Giardino Romano (“Roman Garden”), behind the Palazzo dei Conservatori (“Conservators’ Palace”).

In the center of Hall of the She-Wolf, there is the so-called ‘La Lupa Capitolina’ (donated by Pope Sixtus IV), another masterpiece to admire. The Capitolite Museums collections are on display in the two buildings that, together with the Senatorial Palace, surround the Capitol Square, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo (“New Palace”), connected by an underground tunnel that houses the Lapidaria Gallery and leads to the old Tabularium , whose monumental arches overlook the Roman Forum.

Palazzo Nuovo, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino

The Palazzo Nuovo houses the collections of ancient sculptures, fruits of the collections of the great aristocratic families. At the Palazzo dei Conservatori, on the other hand, you can see the splendid frescoes with stories of Rome and the presence of ancient bronze sculptures from the Capitol, such as ‘La Lupa’, ‘Spinario’ and ‘Bruto Capitolino’’.

In the large glass-covered hall, recently built, located on the main floor, there is the equestrian bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius and, on the second floor, there is the presentation of the Capitoline Art Gallery, on a chronologically ordered path, from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century, with very important works.

There are paintings by Caravaggio (‘Boa Ventura’ and ‘San Giovanni Battista’), the great painting by Guercino (‘The Burial of St Petronilla’) and an important collection of paintings by Guido Reni and Pietro da Cortona. At the Caffarelli-Clementino Palace, there is the ‘Medagliere Capitolino’, with precious collections of coins, medals, jewelry, and a space for temporary exhibitions.

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome
Capitoline Museum (Source Pixabay)

3) 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! BORGHESE GALLERY

Another museum worth visiting is the Borghese Gallery, located inside Villa Borghese Pinciana, in Rome. This beautiful property was an initial possession of the Borghese family, whose other lands were gradually attached to the constitution of a huge park. PURCHASE HERE YOUR TICKET TO THE BORGHESE GALLERY.

Museum collections

The museum displays works by great artists of the caliber of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Raphael, Lorenzo Lotto, Antonello da Messina, Annibale Carracci, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian and others. The gallery can be considered unique in the world in terms of the number and importance of Bernini’s sculptures and Caravaggio’s paintings. The Borghese Gallery’s original sculptures and paintings are from the collection of Cardinal Scipione (1579-1633), son of Ortensia Borghese, sister of Pope Paul V, but the events of the following three centuries, between losses and acquisitions, left their mark.

Sculptures made for the Cardinal

Do not miss the series of sculptures made for the cardinal by the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini, such as ‘Aeneas, Anchises & Ascanius’, ‘Rape of Proserpina’, ‘Apollo and Daphne’, ‘David’, and ‘Sacred and Profane Love’ by Tiziano; masterpieces by Caravaggio and the famous statue of Pauline Bonaparte, by Antonio Canova. There are also the famous masterpieces by Caravaggio, including ‘Young Sick Bacchus’, ‘Boy with  basket of fruit, ‘David with the Head of Goliath’, ‘Saint John the Baptist’, ‘Saint Jerome Writing ‘, and even works by Correggio, Rubens and many others.

Important to Know

To enter the Borghese Gallery, reservations are always required. The hours are: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. (access every two hours, last entry at 05:00 pm).

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome
Galleria Borghese em Roma (Source Pixabay)

4) 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! NATIONAL GALLERY OF ANCIENT ART

Another must-see museum is the National Gallery of Ancient Art, at Barberini Palace. It was built in ‘600 by Pope Urban VIII, and is an example of 17th century style architecture; the work of three artists was among the most successful at the time. We are referring to Maderno, Bernini and Borromini. The majesty of this luxurious Villa, inspired by Villa Farnesina, is also reflected in the priceless works of art that are within it. Present in this magnificent manor house are beautiful gardens and the National Gallery of Ancient Art itself, with thousands of works of art by Caravaggio, Titian, Tintoretto, just to name a few, and the largest room was dedicated to the Barberini family, painted by Pietro of Cortona.

The Main Floor

The main floor is enriched by a large living room, which owes its wonders to the inspiration of Pietro da Cortona, where there is a magnificent fresco entitled ‘The Triumph of Divine Providence’. Other wonders to admire are in the rooms on the main floor; you can observe its royal splendor. The real jewel inside the Palace is the secret garden with the famous Galleria Prospettica (“Perspective Gallery”), by Francesco Borromini, made between 1652 and 1653, in collaboration with Father Giovanni Maria da Bitonto. The illusion of depth is more than thirty meters, different from the real one, which corresponds to about nine meters.

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome
National Gallery of Ancient Arts (Source Pixabay)

5) 5 Best Museums to visit in Rome! NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART AND CONTEMPORARY ART

A museum to visit is the National Gallery of Modern Art and Contemporary Art (acronym GNAM), considered the most important representation of Italian and international modern art from the 19th century to today, through Picasso, Pollock, Modigliani, Mondrian and Guttuso. In its fifty-five rooms, in Valle Giulia, in the monumental building designed by Cesare Bazzani, since 1933, it is possible to admire important collections, which, on the one hand, reflect the cultural events of the Unified State. On the other hand, they reflect the great historical reserve of contemporary art in Italy; in short, one of the museums of excellence that encompass the works of the 19th and 20th centuries.

About the National Gallery of Modern Art

The National Gallery of Modern Art was founded in 1883 and its original headquarters, for thirty years, was the Palazzo dell’Esposizioni (“Palace of Exhibitions”). Then, for reasons of space, one decided to move it to where it is today. It has more than 4400 works of paintings, sculptures and about 13,000 drawings and prints by artists, mostly Italian, where you can see the masterpieces of the collection.

Passing through the ticket office lobby, you can start admiring, in the lobby, some works of art by Civitelli, Bistolfi, Monteverde and Chirico. Interesting is the first large room entitled ‘The artist interprets the museum’, with an installation by A. Pirri, where the mirrored, cracked floor reflects the sculptures of the 19th century. The gallery is divided into three chronological paths, the first section extending from Neoclassicism to Naturalism (1780/1885). The second goes from Symbolism to Avant-Garde, (1886/1925). The other part is the return to the origins, from the nineties to the twentieth century. Some monographic rooms are added to these routes.

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome
Galleria Nazionale (Source Flick)

Best Museums to visit in Rome

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Are you going to stay in Rome? So you can get our exclusive hotel tips!

Here you will find great and free tips to not get fooled when choosing your hotel in Italy.

Plus: read our tips and advices about the Rome neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotel I suggest near the Historic Center

If you are passionate about art and would like to stay in the center where you can move around walking, as well as having countless possibilities for places to have lunch / dinner or a snack, I advise you to stay in the historic center. Regions near the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Imperial Forum and the Villa Borghese, Piazza Spagna and Piazza Navona can be considered as “historic center”. These are the most expensive areas, but you will be close to everything, literally!

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

If you prefer a good hotel, I have three options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest near the San Giovanni Region

For those who want to find cheaper alternatives in quiet areas, but at the same time close to the means of transport to the center, I suggest the region of San Giovanni or Monti (near the metro stations San Giovanni, Castro Pretorio and Circus Massimo) – which it is a more residential neighborhood; therefore, more economical and quiet! And with just 15 minutes by subway you will be in the center too!

I have two options for Hotels that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I suggest near Vatican City

An interesting area to stay and a little cheaper than the historic center is the Vatican area (Vatican Museums) which is very well connected with everything.

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a hotel, I have three options that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotel I suggest near Termini Station

For those who prefer to stay in neighborhoods that have good access to the rest of the city and at a better price, then you should choose accommodation in the surroundings of Termini Station (from where a dense network of public means of transport starts, serving both: the local people and tourists).

I have 3 good hotel suggestions in Termini, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer B&B I have 2 good suggestions, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest in Trastevere

For those who prefer to “taste” authentic and characteristic Rome, there is nothing better than booking a hotel in Trastevere (on the outskirts of the city’s historic river), full of typical Roman history and traditions, known for the tortuous streets of sampietrini stones and the centers medieval style housing.

The neighborhood is in the historic center and to the right of the Tevere River, in the midst of a spectacular landscape, where each visitor can observe the countless churches and squares (such as Santa Maria in Trastevere). In addition, this neighborhood offers several local restaurants and canteens for those who want to try typical Roman cuisine.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have two options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)



Conclusion

5 Best Museums to visit in Rome? We can end this text by adding that visiting the ‘eternal city’ is a wonderful thing; a city that can offer everything a tourist could expect to see and never be disappointed. Always leaving countless emotions. And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier. 🙂

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