Rome city guide
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Rome, the capital city of Italy and often called the Eternal City, is one of the world's most important tourist destinations. Within this exciting metropolis of over 3 million people and stretched over an area of 2,066 square miles (5,352 square kilometres), you will be able to experience ancient history, enjoy a delicious evening dinner, visit the home of the Catholic Church at the Vatican, go to the opera, have a romantic walk along the River Tiber, bask in the sun at Villa Borghese; in fact the list can go on and on... Like any large city, Rome is a bustling, hectic, lively place with heavy traffic and at times very noisy, but do not let that put you off, as the Eternal City is still full of tranquil, undiscovered squares, small serene parks and has an abundance of historical monuments and building. We hope you enjoy your stay and come back soon!
Barracco Museum, Corso V. Emanuele II 168, Historical Center, Rome. Tel: 06 68 80 68 48. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm, Sundays / holidays: 9.00am - 1.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Museum shop. The original building and collection were donated to the city of Rome by Baron Giovanni Barracco in 1902. The original building was demolished in 1938 and the collection transferred to its present location in 1948. Its collection includes archaeological material from the Middle East, such as a head of Ramses II, Asirian sculptures and Hellenistic sculptures. Also of interest are the Sphinx of Hatshepsut and the ruins of an ancient Roman house in the basement.
Borghese Museum / Gallery, Piazza Scipione Borghese 5, Casino Borghese, Rome. Tel: 06 84 17 645. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm, Sundays: 9.00am - 8.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Specialised bookshop, audio guides, coffee shop. Booking in advanced is highly recommended and entry is only granted to a limited number of persons every two hours. The small palace was built in 1613 to hold Cardinal Scipione Borghese's collection of art. The museum can be found on the ground floor and the gallery on the first floor. Inside are some of the most famous sculptures by Bernini, such as David, Apollo and Daphne, the reclining statue of Pauline Borghese, and a rich picture gallery with plenty of masterpieces, such as Danae by Correggio, Raphael's Deposition, and Caravaggio paintings. The palace is well worth a visit.
Capitoline Museums, Piazza Del Campidoglio, Rome. Tel: 06 67 10 20 71. 10.00am - 9.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Museum shop, coffee shop, info/reservations: 06 39 74 62 21. Created according to Michelangelo's design, the Conservators' Palace and the New Palace house two museums. After a long restoration, the oldest public collection in the world is now open to the public. The museums hold artefacts of ancient sculpture and paintings, mainly from the 14th to the 17th century by Caravaggio, Titian, Domenichino and others. Also noteworthy are the Capitoline she-wolf (the symbol of Rome), the Capitoline Venus, the Satyr of Praxiteles. A further highlight is the new Caffé Capitolino, a coffee shop which offers one of the most enchanting panoramas of the city.
Centrale Montemartini, Art Center Acea, Via Ostiense 106, Rome. Tel: 06 57 48 030. Open: 10.00am - 6.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Museum shop, coffee shop. Several hundred Greek and Roman sculptures (from the Musei Capitolini) are exhibited next to old machines used in the former electric power station of Rome. A unique combination of classical art and industrial machinery. Worth a visit, as the juxtaposition of ancient art and industrial archaeology is truly spectacular.
Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Piazza Del Collegio Romano 2, Rome. Tel: 06 67 97 323. Guided tours, bookshop. Open: 10.00am - 5.00pm. Closed: Thursdays. Private collection from the noble Doria Pamphilj family, who still live in the palace (many of the ceilings are beautifully decorated in gold), which boasts of a large art collection that has been built up over the centuries. Many interesting works by Caravaggio, Velasquez, Carracci, Rubens, Bernini, Tiziano, Raffaello and others.
Exhibition Palace for Modern and Contemporary Art, Via Nazionale 194, Rome. Tel: 06 47 45 903. Open: 10.00am - 9.00pm. Closed: Tuesdays. Coffee shop. The building, created by Piacentini in 1878, was one of the first buildings in the new capital constructed after the Unification of Italy. Of neo-classic style, the space has been dedicated for exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
L. Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography, Piazzale Guglielmo Marconi 14, Rome. Tel: 06 54 95 21. Open: Tuesday - Saturday; 9.00am to 2.00pm and Sundays 9.00am to 1.00pm. Closed: Mondays. The museum, opened in 1876, is named after its founder, Luigi Pigorini. Originally housed in a 17th century building, which already housed the Kircher Museum, the collection of antiquities belonged to the Gesuit Athanasius Kircher. Between 1962 and 1977 the museum's artefacts were relocated to the House of Sciences, where it is currently housed. The museum's material is divided into two sections, one devoted to pale-ethnology and the other to ethnography. There is a remarkable collection of more than 6,000 pieces originating from China, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Laos.
Museo del Corso, Palazzo Cipolla, Via Del Corso 320, Rome. Tel: 06 67 86 20. Open: 10.00am - 8.00pm. Closed: Mondays. A relatively new museum, which offers exhibitions and shows which vary throughout the year; ranging from photography, Faberge's famous Easter eggs to virtual exhibitions of Ancient Rome. Worth a visit, especially due to its excellent positioning.
Museum of Palazzo Venezia, Via Del Plebiscito 118, Rome. Tel: 06 67 98 865. Open: 9.00 - 2.00pm. Closed: Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th. The museum occupies a part of the Palazzo Venezia, which is in Rome's geographical center and was once the seat of the Fascist government during Mussolini's reign. Temporary exhibitions occasionally take place at the State Rooms and the museum itself has probably the best collection in Rome of Medieval art including paintings, statues, terracotta, tapestries and porcelains. Among the most important works is the Barsanti collection of small bronzes.
National Gallery of Ancient Art at Palazzo Barberini, Via Quattro Fontane 13, Rome. Tel: 06 48 24 184. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Guided tours, cloakroom, bookshop. The building of the palace began in 1625 by Carlo Maderno with the help of Borromini and then finally completed 8 years later by Bernini. Inside, there are several interesting works from the 12th to the 17th century, which have been acquired and donated from of collections belonging to an array of noble families. The central hall has a splendid ceiling painted by Pietro Da Cortona.
National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Via Delle Belle Arti 131, Rome. Tel: 06 32 29 81. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm. Closed: Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th. Guided tours, bar, cloakroom, bookshop, museum shop, coffee shop. Works of both Italian and foreigner artists, mainly from the 19th and 20th century, including post World War II paintings. Artists belonging to the main modern and contemporary cultural and artistic movements: works by Macchiaioli, Manzù, Matisse, Picasso and Modigliani.
National Gallery of Palazzo Corsini, Via Della Lungara 10, Rome. Tel: 06 68 80 23 23. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm. Sundays and holidays; 9.00am - 1.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Museum shop. This 18th century building, designed by Fuga, is now home to an interesting quantity of paintings and sculptures from the 16th and 17th century. Including such renowned artists as Tiziano, Giordano, Poussin, Guido Reni, Guercino, Van Dyck, Rubens and Caravaggio. There is also a rare portrait of the sculptor Bernini, painted by Baciccia between 1639 and 1709.
National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Lungotevere Castello 50, Rome. Tel: 06 68 19 111. Open: 9.00am - 8.00pm. Closed: Mondays. Coffee shop, cloakroom, bookshop. Castel Sant'Angelo was originally built for Emperor Hadrian in 139AD as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Since then it has been used for several other reasons, such as a safe house for the Pope during political unrest (a passage which connects the castle directly to the Vatican was built in 1277), a fortress and a prison. Since 1927, the building has been a tourist attraction and museum, containing many military relics, sculptures, furniture, fragments of floor from the 14th and 15th century and frescoes by Perin Del Vaga and Pellegrino.
Roman National Museum, Palazzo Altemps, Piazza Sant'Apollinare 44, Rome. Tel: 06 68 33 759. Hours: 9.00am - 6.45pm. Sundays and holidays: 9.00am - 7.45pm. Closed: Mondays. The Palazzo Altemps now holds a collection of classic sculptures, which have been acquired from the private collections of the Altemps and Ludovisi Families. Especially noteworthy are the painted loggia, the Ludovisi Throne (dating back to the 5th century BC), the Ares Ludovisi and the Dying Gaul.
Roman National Museum - Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme, Largo Di Villa Peretti 2, Rome. Tel: 06 48 90 35 00. Open: 9.00am - 6.45pm. Sundays and holidays; 9.00am - 7.45pm. Closed: Mondays. June 1st - September 30th; on Saturdays admittance 9.00pm - 11.45pm. Guided tours, cloakroom, bookshop. Here visitors can view one of the most important archaeological collections in the world; Greek, Roman and Christian art and objects found in Rome and its surrounding areas. Beautiful frescoes which originated from the Domus Livia, the Domus Farnesina and Nero's Villa at Nettuno.
Spada Gallery, Piazza Capo Di Ferro, Rome. Tel: 06 68 61 158. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm. Sundays and holidays; 9.00am - 8.00pm. Closed: Mondays. The gallery is part of the Palazzo Spada, which has been home to several of Rome's elite families and was built in 1540 by the architect Giulio Merisi. In 1927 it then become state owned. On show here are paintings by Rubens, Durer, Caravaggio, Guercino, Domenichino, Guido Reni, Carracci, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Solimena. Particularly interesting, is the Perspective Gallery with its optical illusions (created by Borromini).
Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano, Rome. Tel: 06 69 88 49 47. Open: Mid March to late October; 8.45am - 3.45pm. Off season; 8.45am - 12.45pm. Sundays and religious/national holidays. Museum shop, coffee shop, restaurant, audio guides. N.B. free of charge on the last Sunday of each month. The Vatican museums are a must see when visiting Rome. The vast complex of museums, which run along a circuit of over 7km, contain one of the largest collections of religious and artistic artefacts in the world. For example, the Pinacoteca Vaticana (comprising 17 halls with paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, and Bellini), the Museo Gregoriano Egizio (comprising 10 halls with many Egyptian original artefacts); and not to mention much, much more.
Villa Farnesina, Via Della Lungara 230, Rome. Tel: 06 68 80 17 67. Open: 9.00am - 1.00pm. Closed: Sundays. Villa Farnesina took four years to build (1506 - 1510) and is one of the most complete and splendid examples of Renaissance civil architecture. Decorated by Raphael, you will need to visit the Galatea Room, the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche (by Raphael), the Salon of Perspective on the top floor, frescoed by Peruzzi and the Cabinet of Print - a collection of rare prints, founded in 1895 in order to keep Corsini's prints and designs in good order.
Villa Giulia, National Etruscan Museum, Piazzale Villa Giulia 9, Rome. Tel: 06 32 01 951. Open: 9.00am - 7.00pm. Sundays and holidays; 9.00am - 8.00pm. Closed: Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th. Museum shop, cloakroom, bookshop. The museum was originally built as a villa between 1551 and 1553 for Pope Julius III and designed by Jacopo Barozzi Da Vignola. In 1889 it was established as a museum and contains the most important Etruscan collection in the world, including the famous Pollo of Vejo, the sarcophagus of the Bride and Groom, sculptures, bronzes, furniture, ivory and other objects discovered at the burial grounds in and around Latium, southern Etruria and Umbria.
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