Rome, the capital of Italy, is one of the world’s mecca of art and culture, and with over 60 museums available, it is certainly a great destination for visitors enjoying finer things in life. There are more than eighty museums available in the city, so it would be difficult to select the top 5 museums to see in Rome, but here are our favorites.
Borghese Gallery and Museum
Location: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5
Opening Hours: Tue-Wed-Fri-Sat-Sun: Thu: 9 am–9 pm; Monday: closed
Ticket Prices: 15-25€ ($18-$30)
The original sculptures and paintings in the Borghese Gallery date back to Cardinal Scipione’s collection, the son of Ortensia Borghese – Paolo V’s sister – and of Francesco Caffarelli.
The gallery houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities. The gallery is housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana and consists of 20 rooms on two floors.
There are several world-known sculptures of Bernini and many paintings of Caravaggio, Raphael, and Rubens.
The villa has a garden that is a separate attraction.
Location: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1
Opening Hours: Seven days a week, 9:30 am–7:30 pm;
Ticket Prices: From 16€ ($19)
This is actually a group of art and archaeological museums located in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome. It consists of Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Senatorio, Palazzo Nuovo, Galleria Congiunzione, New wing (Sala Marco Aurelio) and Centrale Montemartini.
Some of the main works of art hosted in these museums are the bronze she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus, a statue of the “Dying Gaul” and Colossus of Constantine.
There are also many archaeological artifacts dating back from the Bronze age and works of art from the early 19th century.
Please dedicate the entire day to a visit to this museum complex.
Location: Vatican City, Rome
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Last Sunday of the month: 09:00 AM – 2 PM
Ticket Prices: 4-21€ ($6-$25)
The Vatican Museums are Vatican City’s public art and sculpture collections. The showcase works from the enormous collection gathered by Vatican popes throughout the centuries, including several of the world’s most famous Roman sculptures and great masterpieces of Renaissance art.
Following are part of Vatican Museums: Pinacoteca Vaticana, Collection of Modern Religious Art, Pio-Clementino Museum, Chiaramonti Museum, Gregoriano Etrusco Museum, Gregoriano Egiziano Museum, Vatican Historical Museum, and Sistine Chapel (with painted ceiling by Michelangelo).
The works of art of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Giotto, Raphael, Caravaggio, Filippo Lippi, and many more are on display here. Also, there is a large collection of statues and historical artifacts.
Due to the size of museums and their area covered, it is recommended to dedicate an entire day when visiting them.
Location: Lungotevere Castello, 50, Adrian Park
Opening Hours: Seven days a week: 9:00 AM-7:30 PM
Ticket Prices: 7-14€ ($9-$17)
Hadrian’s Mausoleum, generally known as Castel Sant’Angelo, is a towering cylindrical structure situated in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. The Roman Emperor Hadrian initially commissioned it to be a mausoleum for himself and his family. The edifice was later used as a fortress and palace by the popes and is now a museum. The structure was once been Rome’s tallest building.
Ashes of Emperor Hadrian and several succeeding emperors are placed here. The castle is also famous for a fact that Giordano Bruno was imprisoned there for six years. The view from various places gives great panoramic sight of Rome’s surroundings.
Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps
Location: Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 9:00am–7:45 pm; Monday – closed
Ticket Prices: 3-12€ ($5-$12)
The Palazzo Altemps, designed by the Riario family during the fifteenth century and refurbished one century later under the orders of Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps, opened as part of the National Museum of Rome in 1997.
The museum houses a valuable collection of Greek and Roman art from the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries belonging to several families of the Roman aristocracy. The works are on show at the walls and ceilings in elegant rooms decorated with frescoes.
Also on display in the lovely patio and next to the monumental staircase are the figures belonging to the Altemps collection. Although the collection of Cardinal Altemps contains more than 100 works, many of them appear in other museums, such as the Louvre.
Collection Boncompagni Ludovisi covers most of the museum. This consists of over 100 works, including The Galatian Suicide and the impressive sarcophagus Grande Ludovisi.
The palace also exhibits a significant collection of Egyptian paintings, as well as collections belonging to the families of Mattei and Del Drago.
Perhaps one of the most striking parts of the museum is the San Aniceto Church, a small and charming church within the building.
From other top museums to see in Rome, we recommend the National Etruscan Museum, the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Barberini Palace, and Doria Pamphili Gallery.