Discover Roman Art and Culture

Discover Roman Art and Culture

The art of the Capital: culture, museums, and galleries. There’s enough art and history to keep you busy forever.

Museums and galleries are everywhere in the Eternal City. But if you think Rome is all about the past, you’re mistaken. The past lives in complete harmony with the present: with contemporary and modern art blending together to create Roman culture.
Whether you’re looking for historic pieces or modern works, ancient relics or contemporary collections, you’re in the right place: the city has got something for everyone.
 
Rome is full of museums, galleries, and foundations that will delight your mind and senses. From a canvas by Caravaggio to a fresco by Raphael, the Capitoline Museums, and the amazing Galleria Borghese, here’s a list of the top things you must do in Rome.
 

The Vatican Museums

If you’re looking for the best museums in Rome, you can’t miss the Vatican Museums. With 70000 pieces, 54 galleries, and 7 kilometres to walk, the Vatican Museums contain all the art collated by Popes throughout the centuries: from Raphael’s frescos to famous statues such as the Laocoon. The last sala of the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel, without a doubt one of the top things to see in Rome: Michelangelo’s glorious ceiling is an unrivalled piece of art that changed the conception of Western art forever.

The Capitoline Museums

It all began in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of bronzes to the citizens of Rome. In time, this collection of artworks, sculptures, and archaeological artefacts got bigger by the day. Today the whole collection lies on the top of the Capitoline Hill and lives inside two facing buildings in the trapezoidal Piazza del Campidoglio, a master plan conceived by Michelangelo in 1536. The most famous piece is the Lupa Capitolina, the She-Wolf, which has become one of the most celebrated symbols of the Eternal City.


Galleria Borghese

Built in 1612 by Scipione Borghese, Cardinal and patron of Caravaggio and Bernini, the Galleria Borghese was intended from the outset to be an intriguing museum featuring the greatest private collection of outstanding works of art. If you’re a 16th and 17th-century art lover, there’s no place better than this: Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, Tiziano, Domenichino, Correggio, Canova are just a few of the artists you’re going to find in this beautiful Villa. Better still, a maximum of 360 people is allowed into the museum every two hour – which means that the Galleria is never packed with tourists.

MAXXI

If you’re a contemporary art lover, the National Museum of Arts of the 21st Century, also known as MAXXI, will be right up your alley. Located in the Flaminio neighbourhood, it’s one of Zaha Hadid’s best architectural works and the very first contemporary museum in the Eternal City. The sense of movement is deeply connected with the structure itself: you’re going to discover bending walls and a futuristic design.

 
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