Listed under the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, Rome is amongst the 20 most popular tourist destinations. And the prestigious museums, artful pieces, pristine documents and all kinds of archeological stuff present in Rome justify this crowd. If you are planning to visit Rome, keep in mind that you are venturing in the world of art and history. Mingling in with the local crowd or travelling as a tourist – it’s your choice, but what really matters is understanding the breathtaking beauty of the miscellaneous artifacts you are about to encounter.
To ease your troubles of selecting where all to go, here’s a list of the top class, must – visits!
Vatican Museum or Musei Vaticani
This 16th century museum is the result of Pope Julius II’s collection that gives this Vatican City museum the title of one of the best museums of the world. Art works like the Sistine Chapel, Lacoon and Borgia rooms, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, the Raphael Rooms that make the place a crowd puller. This extraordinarily crowded and esteemed museum also maintains dress code that prohibits exposure of skin. That means no short skirts or off shoulders, no midriffs or any such things. The museum remains closed for the Vatican holidays that are different from the Italian ones.
Borghese Gallery or Galleria Borghese
One visit to this acquisition by Pope Paul V, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and you will understand why this museum situated on Villa Borghese Park is known to have one of the best art collections of the ancient time in the world. This magnificently prestigious museum contains Bernini’s delicate marble of Apollo and Daphne, works by Titian, Raphael, Domenichino, and Caravaggio. A must visit for art patronages!
Capitoline Museum or Musei Capitolini
Situated on the Campidoglio, Rome’s Capitol Hill, Musei Capitolini with the oldest known community ownership was founded by Pope Sixtus IV and was opened to the public in the year 1734. It is divided into two palaces, Palazzo Nuovo and Palazzo dei Conservatori. The former is home to excellent ancient sculptures and the later houses works of ancient and modern work including the Roman emblem and the ancient sculpture of the twins Romulus and Remus suckling a She wolf.
National Roman Museum
Having excavated items from the Roman and Imperial Fora, this scattered museum covers the Baths of Diocletian, the Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo and the Crypta Balbi. This prominent museum contains coins, statues, sarcophagi, stoneware, frescoes, mosaics, ornaments and other preserve worthy items relating to the rich Roman history. The national roman museum is a fascinating place to discover the wonders of the medieval and roman times.
National Gallery of Modern Art
The national Gallery of Modern Art Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna consists of arts from the 19th and 20th century. Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Burri, Luigi Pirandello are symbolized in the museum and so are the global artisans like Goya, Renoir, Van Gogh and Kandisky. This erotic museum of modern arts will open up gates, revealing pieces that’ll enthrall your mind towards the artistic era in Rome during the 19th and 20th centuries.
This contemporary museum designed by the celebrity architect Zaha Hadid was inaugurated in 2010. Show casing 21st century art work including paintings, photographs and multimedia fixings from renowned Italian and other foreign modern day artists is known not for its permanent displays but for the excellent exhibition it holds, presenting some remarkable works especially on architectural themes. This modern museum has a café lounge where a continuous flow of customers could be noticed. On sunny afternoons, people could be seen enjoying in the piazza outside. Behind this museum is located one of the most popular ice cream parlors of modern day Rome – Neve di Latte.
Museum and Crypt of Capuchins
This Franciscan ‘experience’, as some people like to put it, has been recently renovated to differ from the spine chilling burial chamber it was formerly. It displays everything of the time including the knotted whips friars used to flagellate themselves with and the articfacts confiscated from various natives by missionaries to rooms of stuff representing various heroes and saints. The main attraction of this place is the ghastly burial chamber decorated with the bones of monks dug up from the soil brought from Jerusalem. They are delicately arranged on walls and ceilings and some have been made into grisly chandeliers. To turn it more meaningful and impactive, an ebullient sign reads at the entrance ‘You will be what we are now’.
Museo della Civiltà Romana
This beautiful and marvelously engineered Mussolini-era building is a useful key to the ancient centro storico. Plaster casts of elaborate Trajan carvings, models of ancient sites including Rome itself, etc make the trek worth it. After enjoying the master pieces in here, you can cross along to Palazzo dei Congressi, another marvel of 1930s EUR architecture, and check on how the metaphor to ‘The Cloud’ or ‘La Nuvola’ is coming along. It is a revolutionary forum designed by Massimiliano Fuksas.
Along with the marvelous museums mentioned above, there are places of historic preservence that can be checked out. The list of Roman museums can never get over as every museum in there has something different to show case. Apart from those mentioned above, sites like Pallazo Massimo alle Terme, Villa Farnesina, Villa Giulia, Ara Pacis, Centrale Montemartini, Doria Pamphilj Gallery and Pius Clementine Museum are other valuable spots of art revelation that are worth your time!