ROMA XL - Sunday, November 3, 2019

ROMA XL - Sunday, November 3, 2019

New National Museums in Rome (Free Admission Nov. 3)
  1. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
    The new museum of classical statuary dominated by masterpieces such as the bronze Boxer, dying Niobid  and Augustus as Pontifex Maximus. Beautifully displayed. The true classical imago hominus can be understood in the place. The top floor houses an extraordinary collection of ancient frescos and plaster molding. Stunning!
     
  2. Palazzo Altemps
    This Roman palazzo, with roots in the Renaissance, has been turned into a museum that displays the taste and habits of the great aristocratic families who collected ancient sculpture from the 16th to the 19th Century. The building has been restored, but not transformed, so the spaces are those of an actual Palazzo. The experience is wonderful. The material is mainly ancient sculpture. The museum contains a series of masterpieces, the most outstanding of which is the so-called Ludovisi Throne which is an early 5th Century BC Greek image of the birth of Aphrodite. 
     
  3. Crypta Balbi
    The museum traces the slow collapse of ancient Rome with artifacts, wonderful reconstruction models and drawings tracing a fascinating process of transformation of a monumental city back into a rural landscape.
     
  4. MAXXI
    New national museum of contemporary art by Zaha Hadid. Stunning building, highly individual, but worked into the public space of the city with huge skill. The collection and displays are excellent. Near Piazza Mancini across the river from the Olympic Stadium.
     
Other National Museums in Rome (Free Admission Nov. 3)
  1. Gallery of Modern Art
    The Museum is in the Valle Giulia north of the Borghese Gardens on Viale degli Belli Arti. It has a rich collection of 19th and early 20th C. European art and a stunning collection of the Italian modernists - Futurists, Balla, Primpolini, and the Roman Guttoso. This gallery is not on the list of most tourists, but it should be. The collection is excellent. The temporary exhibitions are often more contemporary than those at the MAXXI..
     
  2. Villa Giulia – The Museum of Etruscan Antiquities
    The famous 16th C. villa designed by Vignola is a gem of Roman mannerism. It also contains the most extensive collection of Etruscan archaeology anywhere. The exhibits are well designed, if a little dated. 
     
  3. Galleria Borghese
    The Borghese Villa is located in the huge park that was once the garden of the Borghese family. The collection of sculpture by Bernini is truly exceptional – David, Aeneas and Anchises, the Rape of Proserpina, Truth and Apollo and Daphne. There are Roman antiquites, including a unique mosaic floor with images of gladiators. Upstairs houses a painting gallery with works by Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo and more. The Gallery has a limited capacity so you need to book in advance. To book tickets click here.
     
  4. Barberini Gallery
    The Palazzo Barberini houses a collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century art with masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, el Greco, Holbein, Tintoretto, Bernini and a fabulous ceiling painted by Pietro da Cortona. A collection of proto-modern 18th Century art in Rome is a revelation. 
     
New City Museums in Rome (No Free Admission)
  1. Centrale Montemartini
    On the Via Ostiense, a quickly transforming former industrial area, the City of Rome has located a unique and truly amazing Museum. The building was originally built as an oil-powered generating station about 100 years ago. In setting up the museum they left all the boilers and turbines in place and used them as a backdrop for the display of relatively recently discovered classical statuary and architectural pieces. The place is incredible!
     
  2. Museum of the Markets of Trajan
    The marvelous spaces of Trajan’s Markets contain a permanent exhibition of the archaeological finds in the area of the Imperial Fora. 
     
Other City Museums in Rome (No Free Admission)
  1. Capitoline Museum
    This is a must for visitors to Rome. The buildings flanking Michelangelo’s piazza contain some of the most significant artifacts in the city: the original of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Capitoline She-wolf (the twins were added later), the Dying Gaul, the Baby Hercules, a gallery of imperial portraits, the Marble Faun, the remains of the colossal statue of Constantine and the fragments of the Marble Plan. The views from the gallery of the Tabularium out over the Forum are worth the price of admission.
     
Other Museums in Rome 
  1. Vatican Museums
    The list of content is too long to even mention, but the headliners are the Sistine Chapel and the Laocoon. The painting Gallery is full of works of genius. The problem is the line up to get in and the frustration of the various “Skip-the-Line” scams. 
     
  2. Scuderie del Quirinale
    The former stables of the Quirinal Palace were transformed into a gallery for special exhibitions by the Italian architect Gae Aulenti. The exhibit opening this fall tells the stories of the eruptions of Vesuvius and Santorini in antiquity, tracing the destruction and rediscovery of the cities affected. The museum itself is also very well done. The exit sequence provides one of the best panoramas of the city.
     
  3. MACRO
    Even newer museum of contemporary art (amazing explosion of contemporary culture in the capital of the ancient world) by Odile Decq. Much edgier and less Eurocentric displays than MAXXI. In an old brewery near Via Nomentana. MACRO was originally conceived as a municipal gallery of contemporary art, but has now been turned over to an independent agency operating on behalf of Rome’s “Assessorato alla Crescita della Cultura” (Department of Cultural Growth). It is free, open and experimental.
     
Multi-media Experiences (No Free Admission)
  1. Welcome to Rome
    This remarkable multi-media presentation uses projection mapping and digital modelling to tell the story of Rome from pre-history to the present. Created by Paco Lanciani, it offers a compelling introduction to the eternal city. Located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 203, it is only steps from the original Waterloo Studio on Vicolo Savelli.
     
  2. Forum of Augustus/Forum of Caesar: Journeys through ancient Rome
    These two spaces are animated at night by projection mappings created by Piero Angelo and Paco Lanciani. In the Forum of Augustus the entire presentation is projected on the fire wall. Spectators sit in the bleachers outside the excavation. In the Forum of Caesar participants move through the space, which is reconstructed through projection mapping on the surrounding surfaces. Both presentations take place at night in the open air. They are compelling and engaging from a technical perspective. 

    The season ends November 3 for both of these presentations. There are three shows in English each night. If you go by the ticket office opposite Trajan’s Column you don’t pay the booking fee (1 or 2 Eu).
     
  3. The Roman Houses under Palazzo Valentini
    In recent years archaeologists have excavated under the Palazzo Valentini, a renaissance palace that now serves as the administrative offices of the Province of Rome. It is now possible to visit the remains of several Roman houses that were immediately beside the Forum of Trajan. The visit is made even more remarkable by the use of digital projection mapping literally reconstructs the spaces of the original building before your eyes. 


    This experience is available throughout the day as it is all underground and throughout the year. It costs 12 Eu plus an on-line booking fee. You can book at the office, which is the same as the place you book the tours mentioned above – directly opposite the column of Trajan.