The Capitoline Museums are situated in the Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo, both of which can be found on piazza del Campidoglio. The museum dates from the 15th century, when pope Sixtus IV donated various bronze works which were exhibited in the Palazzo dei Conservatori and on piazza del Campidoglio; this makes this museum one of the oldest in the world. In the Palace, you can see the remains of a large sculpture of Constantine, which originally was 12 metres high. Here is also exhibited one of the symbols of Rome, the She-Wolf of the Capitol, to which the twins were added in the 15th century. The statue is remarkable for the beauty of the details, particularly in the expression of concern in the eyes of the wolf.
Also of great importance is the naked ‘’Venere Esquilina’’, from the 1st century BC, with her sensual and delicate body and pensive look, and ‘’Galata Morente’’ by an anonymous artist, which celebrates the victory of Attalo over the Celts. In Pinacoteca Capitolina you can see famous works of art by Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio and Van Dyck.
Address: Piazza del Campidoglio 1 - 00186 Rome
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am-8.00pm; 24th and 31st December 9.00am-2.00pm (the ticket office closes one hour before)
Closed: Mondays, 25th December, 1st January, 1st May.
National Museum of Rome - Palazzo Altemps
Palazzo Altemps is one of the most important palaces in Rome, and one of the four branches that the National Museum of Rome counts across the city. In Palazzo Altemps you will find antique sculptures, such as the collections of noble Roman families (the Altemps, Brancaccio, Mattei, Boncompagni, etc.), and a collection of Egyptian works. This museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and conferences.
Address: district ‘’Rione Ponte’’, Piazza di San Apollinare 44, near Piazza Navona.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am - 7.45pm
Closed: Mondays, 1st January, 25th December
National Museum of Rome - Palazzo Massimo
The Palace was built towards the end of the 19th century, in neo-renaissance style. Originally built as a Jesuit college, it is nowadays another of the venues for the National Museum of Rome, with Palazzo Altemps, the baths of Diocletian and the Crypta Balbi. The museum includes various sections: coins, jewels, bronzes and an exhibition of mosaics from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, as well as frescoes from villa Farnesina and villa Livia (30 BC). On the ground floor, you can see the coin collection with an exhibition showing the evolution of currencies from the 7th century BC until the Euro.
Part of the collection belonging to the House of Savoy can also be admired here. Amongst the artwork on display note the Sleeping Hermaphrodite, a delicate female figure with masculine attributes born from the union of Hermes and Aphrodite (hence the name).
Address: Largo di Villa Peretti 1
Opening times: 9:00am – 7:45pm
Closed: Mondays, 1st January, 25th December.
Villa Borghese (which houses Gallery Borghese) presents antique sculptures, bas-reliefs and mosaics dating between the 15th and 18th centuries. Amongst the artists whose work is exhibited, note Caravaggio, Titian (Sacred and Profane Love), Antonello da Messina’s ‘’Ritratto d’Uomo’’ (Portrait of a Man), Giovanni Bellini, Raphael, Correggio ‘’Giovane con canestro di frutta’’ (Young Man with Fruit), Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Canova. Admire the statues ‘’Apollo and Daphne’’ (1622-1624) by Bernini, an allegory of vanity and worldly pleasures, and “Extasis by Santa Teresa” (1646).
Some of the sculptures come from the private collection of Cardinal Scipione who had a passion for ancient, contemporary and renaissance art. One of the masterpieces on display is the portrait of Paulina Borghese Bonaparte (Napoleon’s sister) entitled “Paulina Bonaparte come Venere Vincitrice” by Canova (1807). Look out for the sculptures by Bernini commissioned by the cardinal; in these, the artist captures with virtuosity the grace and expression of the models. Amongst Raphael’s work note the painting ‘’Deposizione’’, from the year 1507. Camillo Borghese bought the famous ‘’Danae’’ by Correggio in Paris in 1827. Some of the works on display were recovered from private homes, private collections, archaeological digs, etc.
Address: Gran plaza Scipione Borghese 5, 00197 ROME
Tel. 06 8413979
Visits must be booked in advance
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday: 8.30am - 7.30pm
Closed: Mondays, 1st January, 25th December
National gallery of Ancient Art - Palazzo Barberini
The National gallery of Ancient Art is situated on the first floor of palazzo Barberini and presents works of art by Italian and foreign artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, in chronological order.
The Palace was built in the 17th century. The majestic squared staircase is by Bernini, whereas the smaller oval staircase under the portico is by Borromini. Amongst the most outstanding paintings in the gallery are the “Madonna and child” by Filippo Lippi, “La Fornarina” by Raphael, “Giuditta e Oloferne” by Caravaggio, where you perceive the violence of the representation. Admire also the salons, decorations and paintings, such as ‘’Triumph of Divine Providence’’, by Pietro da Cortona, a work of art in the baroque style where decorative art renews itself through the fusion of effects of perspective, looking up from below, and elaborate chiaroscuros. Other highlights include pieces by Tintoretto, Titian and el Greco.
Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13 00184 Rome
Tel. 06 4824184
Opening times: closed on Monday
Tuesday to Sunday: 8.30am - 7.30 pm
Closed: 1st January, 25th December
back to top
Disclaimer: We've tried to make the information on this web site as accurate as possible, but it is provided 'as is' and we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information.