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Museums in Rome

The top 10 Museums in the Italian Capital

Rome has over 150 museums and galleries and the two biggest collections are the Vatican and the Capitoline, which encompass both categories. Below is a selection based on the most popular and quirky museums, which includes the Vatican Museums and Capitoline Museums. The listing is in alphabetical order in their Italian names. The English name is below, if there is one; else the Italian name is relisted. Click on the English name for a link to the offical museum websites.

Our recommendations

Centrale Montemartini / Centrale Montemartini

Type: Engineering / Archaeology • Add: Via Ostiense 106,  00154 Roma • Tel: +39 065 748 042

Centrale Montemartini is a place where you can meet gods, goddesses and characters from mythology, all of whom are standing among vintage diesel motors. Still, do not be confused, as you are in the city’s first power station that has been transformed into a classical sculpture museum.

Mercati di Traiano – Museo dei Fori Imperiali

Eng: The Museum of the Imperial Forums
Type: Archaeology and Monument
Trajan’s Markets were built to house the administrative apparatus of a massive empire. Today they are home to a museum dedicated to unravelling the propaganda messages of the Imperial forums using life-size reconstructions encompassing original fragments.
Add: Via 4 Novembre 94
Tel: +39 066 994 1020

Musei Capitolini

Eng: Capitoline Museums
Type: Archaeology and Art
The Capitoline Museums are the oldest public museum in the world with everything from the foundations of the city’s first temple to works by Caravaggio and a bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. On both sides of Campidoglio, the restored Capitoline is a must.
Add: Piazza del Campidoglio
Tel: +39 066 710 2475

Musei e Gallerie Vaticani

Eng: The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Type: Archaeology and Art
You cannot see the Sistine Chapel, with its world famous frescos by Michelangelo, without entering the Vatican Museums. However, the route to the chapel holds some of the greatest art and ancient world treasures on public view. Take time to include the Raphael Rooms.
Add: Viale Vaticano
Tel: +39 066 988 4676

Keats – Shelley House/ Eng: Keats – Shelley House

Type: House Museum
Situated on the Spanish Steps, the house was the final home of John Keats, who died there in 1821.  It now contains an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, relics and first editions that celebrate the lives of Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.
Add: Piazza di Spagna, 26
Tel: +39 066 784 235

Museo dell’Ara Pacis

Eng: Altar of Augustan Peace
Type: Archaeology / Monument
The most precious monument of the Augustan age is now protected from pollution and the elements with a museum complex built around it by the American architect Richard Meier. The altar’s motif depicts members of the imperial family, naturally guided by Augustus himself.
Add: Lungotevere in Augusta
Tel: +39 060 608

Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia

Eng: The National Etruscan Museum
Type: Archaeological Museum
The Etruscans inhabited central Italy before the rise of Rome and the first six rulers of the city were in fact Etruscan kings. See a stunning collection of artefacts at the national museum of a people who were famed for their metal working skills and equal status for women.
Add: Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9
Tel: +39 063 226 571

Il Vittoriano

Eng: The Wedding Cake
Type: Monument, Art gallery, Museum
You can’t miss it even more so since it has been given a clean. For 7 Euro you can take the lift to the top for one of the best views of Rome, else climbing the steps to the gigantic statue of Italy’s founding king is free
Add: Piazza Venezia
Tel: +39 066 920 2049

Tourist tip -  Avoid the line Smile

Along with the Colosseum, the Vatican is the only place you will experience a line. However, this can be avoided by going in the afternoon around 2 pm when most of the big group tours have filtered through. To avoid a wait at the Colosseum, buy your tickets at the Palatine entrance on via San Gregorio. The Vatican Museums close on Sundays except for the last Sunday of the month. Still you should avoid this Sunday too, as the free admission attracts larger than normal crowds. On Mondays state owned museums are closed, so visitors concentrate on the Vatican.


Written by...

Stephen content writer Rome

By Stephen Wheeler Licensed Tourism translator