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Best Museums in Rome

If museums are your thing, you won’t be disappointed when visiting Rome. Museums in Rome are countless, and there’s seriously a museum to suit every interest whether it be: history, religious, archeological, art or something else entirely. There are your more popular mainstream museums in Rome that every single tourist seems to flock to such as the Vatican Museums and then there are your more quirky museums that are lesser known and popular amongst the locals of Rome.

Rome has traditional museums that are steeped in history, dating back many years, so if you like a good story and ancient civilizations are of interest, there are plenty of museums to choose from. Despite what you might think, there are also a number of contemporary museums in Rome. They’re contemporary in their design and what they house. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it while in Rome, and if you’re really looking for some hot tips when it comes to museums and galleries in Rome, the best people to ask are the locals.

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Top 10 Museums in Rome, Italy

  • Maxxi Museum is Rome’s National Museum of Art. Pieces on show are specialized dating from the 21st century. The Maxxi building itself is an impressive design and worth seeing.
  • The Marco Museum is a new contemporary art museum in Rome. The trendy museum can be found in a stunning 19th century apartment block. It’s cool and it’s daring.
  • Palazzo Altemps is a Renaissance Palace in Rome. It is Rome’s best kept secret when it comes to museums and you’ll find a beautiful collection of sculptures from the classical period.
  • Cinnecittà Museum, founded by Mussolini, is a museum with a twist. The studios and sets have a long history and were bombed during WWII. This is where Ben Hur and Cleopatra were filmed.
  • Auditorium Parco della Musica has been nicknamed the ‘culture factory’. With three different concert halls, this is the place to go for theatre performances and the ballet in Rome.
  • Santa Maria is one the oldest places of worship and prayer in Rome. If you’re interested in religion and its history, you’ll learn a lot at this impressive medieval church from 340 AD.
  • Museo Nazionale is an interesting museum in Rome that showcases some years of the dark ages. Weaponry and intricately designed tapestries are beautifully displayed.
  • Sant Ignazio is translated as the ‘church of many illusions.’ Dating back to 1626, you’ll be impressed with the detailed ceiling frescoes.
  • Ostia Antica Museum in Rome is on the outskirts of Rome. This outdoor museum has a spectacular amphitheatre, baths, temples, remains of schools and latrines.
  • Galleria Lorcan O’Neill is a popular museum in Rome with the locals. This amazing contemporary gallery showcases works from famous artists worldwide.

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Best Museums in Rome, Italy

  • Maxxi was designed by Zaha Hadid. This large museum covers 27,000m². This is Rome’s first national museum that’s solely dedicated to modern art. Located in the north of Rome in the Flaminio quarters across from the old military barracks, you’ll find works from the old Neapolitan artist, Francesco Clement. Tickets cost €11 and it’s closed Mondays.
  • Palazzo Altemps is named after an old cardinal from the 16th century. The palace wasn’t state owned until 1982 and it opened to the public in 1997. Some of the beautiful classical sculptures date back to the 3rd century. The museum’s closed on Mondays and tickets cost €7.
  • Cinecittà, located next to Ciampino Airport in Rome is famous for its production of film classics. It was also where the famed Italian director, Federico Fellini, filmed the majority of his films. Spread over 40 hectares, this is Europe’s biggest film production facility. It’s open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.