Visit the Best Museums in Rome

Vatican Staircase

Rome Museums

Vatican MuseumThe religious art inside the Vatican Museums in Rome may floor you — quite literally. When looking up at Michelangelo’s masterpiece frescoes on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, be sure not to lose your balance among others gazing up with you. Make your way to the spiral staircase, Raphael Rooms, the Laocoon and the Egyptian museum. Note that there is a dress code for St. Peter’s and other museums, meaning no shoulders showing or short shorts and skirts. 

 

MAXXI – Maxxi, the National Museum of Art from the 21st century designed by Zaha Hadid, is the first museum in Italy completely dedicated to contemporary art. Recognize the museum by its curving architecture of concrete, glass and steel. Relatively young, Maxxi opened to the public in 2010 where military barracks used to be and has a permanent collection of international artists. 

 

Cinecittà Studios – After Cinecittà was built under Mussolini’s orders and bombed by the Allies in World War Two, this largest film studio in Europe recovered in the 1950s to create blockbuster classics like Ben-Hur and most Fellini films. Rather than shooting breakthrough films, Cinecittà today serves more guided tours that accommodate at least 20 people. 

 

Galleria Borghese – The Galleria Borghese is home Caravaggio masterpieces and Bernini sculptures like Apollo and Daphne, not to mention Sacred and Profane Love by Titian. This Roman garden villa built in the early 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese boasts „secret gardens“ that are available to visit through tours run by Bell’Italia 88. 

 

Castel Sant’Angelo – Almost 2000 years old, the Castle Sant’Angelo was initially created to be the mausoleum to Emperor Hadrian. Over the centuries the castle has transformed internally and externally to now host the Museo Nazionale di Castle Sant’Angelo, a museum with a plethora of medieval treasures and Renaissance art. 

 

Musei Capitolini – Opened to the public in 1734, the Capitoline Museums have witnessed countless visitors entering for a glimpse at the goliath statues in Palazzo dei Conservatori, the statue of Marcus Aurelius from the second century AD or the Remus and Romulus twins. Find the statue of Pope Urban VIII by Bernini here, along with paintings from Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Titian and more. 

 

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj – Dating back to the 15th century, the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj demonstrates the rule of aristocracy that was once in Rome. The palace is privately owned by one family to this day and a part of it is occupied for their personal use. Step inside to see hundreds of paintings and sculptures by Bernini, Caravaggio, Titian and Velázquez.