Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna Rome

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (National Gallery of Modern Art) in Rome, like the Galleria Borghese and the Etruscan Museum, is located in the Villa Borghese. It has a great permanent collection of 19th and 20th century, especially Italian art, but also hosts temporary exhibitions, often several at the same time.

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131 – Rome. Wheelchair entrance:  Via Antonio Gramsci, 71. Tel.: +39 06 32298221 (information) or +39 06 32110435 (ticket office) or +39 06 322981 (switchboard). Opening hours: 08.30 till 19.30; December 24,31: 08.30 – 18.00. Closed: Mondays, January 1, May 1, December 25. Admission: 10 Euros; EU citizens age 18-25: 5 Euros; any nationality age 0-18: free. Roma Pass is valid. From October till March the Gallery admission to the museum is free on the first Sunday of the month.

Description

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna Rome
Ercole e Lica

The museum, which is nowhere near as famous as it should be, consists of 75 rooms with lots of art of the Neo-Classicist and Romantic periods. There is also an outstanding collection of mainly Italian Pop Art and the Italian futurists are also well represented.

The most famous Italian artists are De Chirico, Modigliani and Fontana, while foreign art is represented by painters such as Degas, Cezanne, Monet, van Gogh, Klee, Ernst, Braque, Miro, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Pollock and sculptors like Rodin and Canova.

Apart from the permanent collection, there are usually several special exhibitions at the GNAM.

Highlights permanent exhibition

The first room is dominated by Antonio Canova‘s famous masterpiece “Ercole e Lica”.

The Sala del Giardiniere includes two works by Vincent van Gogh.

Room 9 is entirely devoted to avant-garde art. The exhibition is also home to movements such as Cubism, Expressionism and Italian Futurism. There are Dutch contributions by Kees van Dongen and Mondrian.

Rooms 10 and 11 will be occupied by the Schwarz collection, donated to the museum in 1997, and will showcase Marcel Duchamps and Dadaism.

The Pittura Metafisica is an early 20th century Italian movement, with Giorgio De Chirico (room 14) as its most important exponent.

In the second part of the Galleria, dedicated to post-war art, the Sala Fontana is particularly interesting, with works by the futurist Lucio Fontana.

History

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome was founded in 1883. At that time it was still housed in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in the Via Nazionale.

However, the size of this building made it necessary to evacuate the permanent exhibition each time a temporary exhibition was held. Therefore, and also because the Esposizione Internazionale di Roma was to take place in 1911, the current Palazzo delle Belle Arti was built.

In 1933 the same problem arose again and a wing was added to the museum, doubling its exhibition space.

Initially the new rooms were used for the propaganda exhibition Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista (Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution).

A last extension of the Galleria took place in 1973, while between 1995 and 1999 the building was completely restored and the collection reorganized.

The architect of both the original building and the extension built more than 20 years later was Cesare Bazzani. Luigi Cosenza oversaw the expansion in 1973.

Over the years, often through donations, the collection expanded. As a result satellite museums were opened elsewhere in the city. The Museo Mario Praz (Via Zanardelli) and the Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi (Via Boncompagni) are among the results of this.

Viale delle Belle Arti, 131 – Rome

Napoleon Museum Rome

The Museo Napoleonico is located on the ground floor of the historical building Palazzo Primoli in the Ponte district in Rome. The nucleus of the museum is the collection count Primoli donated to the city in 1927.

Napoleon Museum Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza di Ponte Umberto I, 1 – 00186 Rome, Italy. (District: Ponte). Tel: +39 066874240. Public transport: Bus: 30, 70, 81, 87, 492, 628. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00 until 18.00 (24 and 31 December 10.00 until 14.00). Cloesed: Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. Admission: 1,50 Euro (Free when there are no special exhibitions). The ticket office closes 3o minutes before closing time. The Roma Pass is valid.

History and description

Napoleon Museum Rome
Napoleon at the Battle of Wagram

In 1927, Count Giuseppe Primoli, who was the son of Princess Carlotta Bonaparte, donated his collection of works of art, including his Napoleonic relics and mementos, to the city of Rome

These objects now form the core collection of the Napoleonic Museum and can still be viewed on the ground floor of the Palazzo Primoli, which also houses the Museo Mario Praz (on the third floor).

The Napoleonic Museum has recently been restored, but inside it still looks more or less the way it did when Primoli left it, with many of its 18th and 19th century decorations intact.

The collections of the museum can be divided into three separate parts:

  1. The period that can be called truly Napoleonic and shows paintings by the major artists of the time.
  2. The so-called Roman period, from the fall of Napoleon to the rise of Napoleon III.
  3. The time of the second empire, dominated by the figure of Napoleon III.

Palazzo Bonaparte

Tourists interest in Napoleon should also visit the Palazzo Bonaparte on the corner of the Via del Corso and the Piazza Venezia. Napoleon‘s mother lived a good part of her life in this historical building.

Piazza di Ponte Umberto I, 1 – Rome

Museo di Roma – Palazzo Braschi Rome

Rome‘s Museo di Roma – Palazzo Braschi is housed in a building that has the facade on Piazza Navona, although the entrance is at Piazza San Pantaleo.

Museo di Roma – Palazzo Braschi Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

The address of the Palazzo Braschi is Piazza Navona, 2 – Rome. The main entrance is in Piazza San Pantaleo, 10 – 00186 Roma (tel. +39 060608 for information and reservations). It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. On 24 and 31 December the opening hours are from 10.00 to 14.00 hours. Closed on Monday; closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. The entrance fee is 9,50 Euro. (Discount: 7,50 Euro). A combi-ticket with the Museo Barracco is 11 Euro. Free for children under 6. For special exhibitions, prices may be slightly higher. The Roma Pass is valid. On the first Sunday of the month, the museum is free for residents. There is a surcharge for bigger exhibitions.

Canova Exhibition (October 1019 – March 2020)

An exhibition of the Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova is planned for the autumn of 2019. This exhibition should start on 9 October and will end on 15 March 2020. Canova (1757-1822) is best known for white marble sculptures such as Amore e PsicheTre Grazie and Paolina Borghese. Those who would like to see some of his best work, but are not in Rome during the exhibition, can visit the Galleria Borghese or St. Peter’s Basilica.

Highlights permanent exhibition

The Museo di Roma has a huge collection of more than one hundred thousand paintings, drawings, etchings, photographs, sculptures, furniture and chasms, ceramics and even entire carriages. Of course, these cannot all be exhibited at the same time, so even the permanent exhibition is subject to rotation.

A special feature is the collection of 19th century photographs showing typical Roman street scenes from that period.

The walls of some of the rooms are decorated with tempera paintings from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.

Another highlight is the monumental staircase, in the design of which the famous architect Valadier was involved.

Palazzo Braschi Museum Rome – Piazza San Pantaleo 10, Rome

Palazzo Braschi Rome

The Palazzo Braschi is a famous building in the historical center of Rome and is, since 1952, the seat of the Museo di Roma (Rome’s Civic Museum). It houses both a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

Exhibition

The present exhibition is dedicated to the Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova. This exhibition will end on 15 March 2020. Canova (1757-1822) is known as one of the greatest of the neoclassical artists. His most famous sculptures are Amore e Psiche, Tre Grazie and Paolina Borghese. Those who would like to see some of his best work, but are not in Rome during the exhibition, can visit the Galleria Borghese or St. Peter’s Basilica.

Palazzo Braschi Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza di San Pantaleo, 10 – Rome (tel. +39 060608, which is the information number for the city of Rome). Opening hours museum: 10.00 till 19.00; December 24 and 31: 10.00 till 16.00. Closed: Mondays, January 1, May 1, December 25. Admission: 9,50 Euros (concessions: 7,50 Euros); free for children younger than 6 and for Rome residents between 6 and 18. Free for Rome residents on the first Sunday of the month. Roma Pass is valid.

History and description

The palazzo was designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli, who had been commissioned to do so by Luigi Braschi Onesti. Luigi had managed to use the influence of his uncle, Pope Pius VI, in order to acquire the wealth and privileges needed to be able to have the building constructed.

Before the Palazzo Braschi was constructed a 15th building belonging to the Orsini family stood in the same site. A number of cardinals lived there, before the building was bought by the Orsini‘s again (end of the 17th century). They adorned the palazzo with a number of art works and then sold it to Prince Caracciolo di Santobono who, in turn, sold it to the Braschi Onesti family.

A year after they bought it, in 1791, the Braschi had the building destroyed and gave Morelli the task of rebuilding it. Work was interrupted for 4 years because of the French occupation (1798-1802).

The monumental stairs and Valadier‘s chapel on the first floor were finished in 1804.

When the Braschi Onesti‘s got financial difficulties they sold the palazzo to the Italian State. For a while it was the seat of the Ministry of the Interior. Under Mussolini fascist institutions took residence in the Palazzo Braschi and from the end of the war until 1949 three hundred homeless families were put up in the building. Unfortunately theft and lighting of fires caused damage to the frescoes and floors of the building.

Palazzo Braschi – Piazza di San Pantaleo 10, Rome

Scuderie del Quirinale Rome

The Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome was built between the years 1722 and 1732, but was not turned into a museum until 1999. It does not have a permanent collection, but only hosts (usually extremely prestigious) temporary exhibitions. The next exhibition is dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci and will last from March 13th until June 30th, 2018.

Scuderie del Quirinale Rome

Opening times and admission

Opening hours: Until January 21st, 2018 from 10.00 till 20.00h; Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 till 22.30h. (Special openings: January 1 from 16.00 till 20.00h; January 6 from 10.00 till 22.30h. Admission: 15 Euros (discount 13 Euros; age 0-6 free). The price of an “open” ticket, which allows you to enter at any date and hour, is 20 Euros, plus 2,50 Euros administration costs.

Present exhibition Scuderie del Quirinale Rome

The exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci. Science before Science” will be held from March 13th till June 30th 2019. The exhibition is held in occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci‘s death.

History and description

Scuderie del Quirinale Rome
Scuderie del Quirinale

The palazzo that houses the Scuderie del Quirinale was built on top of the ruins of the Roman Temple of Serapis. Construction lasted from 1722 till 1732.

Until 1938 the building functioned as a stable where horses and carriages were kept, then it was changed into a garage and as of December 21st 1999 it is a museum. The transformation into a museum was the work of Gae Aulenti.

The building was constructed against the wall of the Giardino Colonna.

The very first exhibition consisted of a number of paintings on loan from the Hermitage and in 2010, to celebrate its first 10 years as a museum the Scuderie hosted the very first exhibition with all of Caravaggio‘s major paintings.

The total surface of the exhibition space is more than 3000 m².

From one of its windows there is a spectacular view over the Eternal City.

Address and public transport

Address: Via 24 Maggio, 16 – Rome (tel. +39 06 81100256). The nearest bus stop is Nazionale/Quirinale (40, 60, 64, 70, 170, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18).

Via 24 Maggio, 16 – Rome

Roman Aquarium and House of Architecture

The Acquario Romano (“Roman Aquarium“) is located in the center of a small park in the Esquilino district in Rome. It was built towards the end of the 19th century in a style typical of the period, called Umbertino, after the then king of Italy. Originally an aquarium, the building has held several functions during the time of its existence. At the moment it is the seat of the Casa dell’Architettura (“House of Architecture“).

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza Manfredo Fanti, 47 – Rome. Tel.: +39 06-97604598. Metro: Vittorio Emanuele (line A). Monday to Friday from 10.00 till 19.00. Closed: Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: Free. The garden is open from 09.00 till sunset (Saturdays and Sundays from 09.00 till 13.00).

Roman Aquarium

The Roman Aquarium was designed by Ettore Bernich, who used ancient Roman architecture as an inspiration, and built between 1885 and 1887. The architect responsible for the actual construction was Pietro Garganico.

The avant-corps is modeled on the triumphal arches, while the shape of the building itself is reminiscent of the Pantheon. The building is decorated with pillars, half columns, statues in niches and various representations of fish and other sea animals.

Although it always kept its original name, it only functioned as an aquarium until the year 1899. The complex doubled as a fish farming school and a fish hatchery. You could also buy expensive live fish there, in case you wanted to eat something you couldn’t get at a normal market.

The two statues flanking the entrance represent Fishing and Navigation. The group of sculptures crowning the facade represents Venus’ carriage, pulled by a Triton and a Nereid. The entrance hall is decorated with frescoes and a number of statues in niches. It leads to a central room, which is oval in shape and characterized by a number of cast iron columns and a skylight.

Home of Architecture

In the course of the 20th century it was variously used as a venue for parties, skating rink, theater and office space. After having been more or less abandoned it was reopened in 1984, first as a museum and nowadays as the Casa dell’Architettura. This institution is meant to promote contemporary Roman architecture and hosts conferences and exhibitions.

Garden of Architecture (Giardino dell’Architettura)

In the garden around the Aquarium some ancient Servian Walls are still visible, together with ruins of a building from the Imperial Age.

Piazza Manfredo Fanti, 47 – Rome

Vatican Historical Museum Rome

The Vatican Historical Museum was founded in 1973. In 1987  it was transferred to the Papal Apartment in the Lateran Palace.

Vatican Historical Museum Rome

Its collection consists of a series of papal portraits together with objects of the past Pontifical Military Corps and of the Pontifical Chapel and Family and historic ceremonial objects no longer in use.

One section of the Vatican Historical Museum is taken up by the Carriage and Automobile Museum.

Admission to the Vatican Historical Museum, which is not located at the Vatican itself, but at the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran, is included in the entrance fee to the Vatican Museums. The opening hours are also the same.

Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano Rome

Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide Rome

The Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, a 17th century Baroque architectural masterpiece in Rome designed by Bernini (Gianlorenzo) and Francesco Borromini, has opened its doors to the public in the form of a museum, called the Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide.

Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Via di Propaganda, 1/C – Rome (tel. +39 06 69880266). Opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 14.30 till 18.00. Admission: 8 Euros (concession: 6 Euros; children age 0-5: free). At the ticket office you can request a free guided tour.

History and description

Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide Rome
Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide

The museum highlights 400 years of missionary work by the Catholic church, through artefacts such as documents, sculptures and photographs assembled by the Congregation of Propaganda Fide.

After a restoration that that cost around 17 million Euros and saw the building’s foundations strengthened and the chapels and library reconstructed, visitors can now, for the first time, visit the chapels and hallways of the palazzo.

It used to be the headquarters of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide, a religious order founded by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 and re-baptized the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples by Pope John Paul II. This organization’s aim was to spread Catholicism and also to protect missionaries from being prosecuted.

Highlights of the Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide

  • Bernini‘s wooden library with Pope Urban III symbols (the Barberini bee) adorning the ceiling.
  • Borromini‘s Chapel of the Magi, its theme (the epiphany of the three wise men) an allegory for converts to Christianity finding salvation through Christ.

Via di Propaganda, 1/C – Rome

Galleria Corsini Rome

Palazzo Corsini is located across the road from the Villa Farnesina, in the Via della Lungara in the quarter of Trastevere in Rome and for a while, after she had abdicated, served as the residence of Queen Christina of Sweden.

Galleria Corsini Rome

Address, opening hours and description

Address: Via della Lungara, 10 – Rome (tel. +39 06 68802323). Opening hours: 08.30 till 19.00. Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, December 25, 26. Admission: 10 Euros.

History and description

Originally the building belonged to the Riario family, but the Corsini’s acquired it and had it rebuilt by the architect Ferdinando Fuga in 1736.

At the moment the Palazzo Corsini houses the Accademia dei Lincei (National Scientific Academy) and the Galleria Corsini, or to be precise, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica di Palazzo Corsini. Its gardens are part of a Botanical Garden.

The major part of the more than 300 paintings on display were donated by the Corsini’s themselves. Especially the 17th century Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini was known to be an avid collector.

In 1883 the palazzo, including its works of art, was bought by the Italian state. The paintings were not moved from their original spots on the first floor though.

Most of the artists are Italians from a period stretching from the Renaissance until the end of the 18th century. Represented are artists like Fran Angelico, Caravaggio, Rubens and Annibale Caracci.

The most famous painting in the Galleria Corsini is Caravaggio’s John the Baptist.

Despite the presence of works by famous artists, even during the high season the Corsini Gallery is remarkably free of tourists.

There are several museums in Rome with the nomer Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. The other ones are the Galleria Borghese and Palazzo Barberini.

Via della Lungara, 10 – Rome

Villa Farnesina Rome

The Villa Farnesina is an architecturally important Renaissance building in the Trastevere district in Rome. The villa is particularly famous because of a number of frescoes by the painter Raphael and his pupils.

Villa Farnesina Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Via della Lungara, 230 – Rome (tel. +39 06 68027268 or 06 68027397). Opening hours: From 09.00 till 14.00. Closed: Sundays and public holidays. Admission: 6 Euros; over 65’s and age 14-18: 5 Euros; age 10-14: 3 Euro; age 0-10: Free.

History and description

Villa Farnesina Rome
Villa Farnesina

The Villa Farnesina was commissioned by the wealthy banker (and treasurer of Pope Julius II) Agostino Chigi and designed by Baldassare Peruzzi. At the time it was of course not called Villa Farnesina yet.

Peruzzi had designed a U-shaped building, with 5 open loggias between the arms of the U. The original entrance was in the northern loggia, while the present entrance is in the southern part, which is made of glass. Construction was finished in 1510.

Unlike most palazzi of the period, the Villa Farnesina was not built to be a sort of castle, but rather as a summer residence. It was also meant to impress guests with its opulence.

In 1577 the villa was acquired by the Farnese family (hence Farnesina). Later the Neapolitan Bourbon family bought it and after that it was the property of the Spanish Ambassador in Rome for a while. Nowadays the Villa Farnesina belongs to the Italian state and houses the Accademia dei Lincei (a scientific academy) and the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe.

At one point Michelangelo made plans to connect the Villa Farnesina by means of a private bridge to the Palazzo Farnese across the Tiber, but these were later aborted.

Both the loggia and the most important rooms of the Villa Farnesina are open for visitors.

Works of art in the Villa Farnesina

Raphael - Villa Farnesina Rome
Raphael’s “Triumph of Galtea”

The first floor salone was painted by Peruzzi to be a trompe-l’oeil of an open loggia with a city in the background. You have to stand at a specific spot for this to work though.

Sodema was responsible for the paintings of scenes of the life of Alexander the Great.

The frescoes on the first floor representing the myth of Cupid and Psyche are Raphael‘s work, as is the Triumph of Galatea. The frescoes were commissioned by Chigi.

Other frescoes were created by Sebastiano del Piombo, Giulio Romano and Il Sodoma and were inspired by the poet Angelo Poliziano‘s work Stanze.

Villa Farnesina – Via della Lungara 230, Rome