Ah, Rome. The capital of Italy, the centre of the Roman Empire and a visual feast, offering some of the world’s most recognisable art. Fancy seeing some in person? Read on!
Rome is an artistically rich city, with numerous world-class museums and galleries. You would need a lifetime in Rome to appreciate all the masterpieces it has to offer. Or, you could settle for a really good article from Rome’s travel experts telling you where you need to go…
Explore the world of art in the Vatican Museums
With high grand ceilings, spiral staircases, marble statues and Egyptian tombs, the Vatican Museums are filled with beautiful works of art from top to bottom. They hold some of the greatest art repositories in the world, with about 17 categorised museums and galleries. For an entry ticket of €17, visitors can enjoy the assortment of 460 paintings in the Pinacoteca, dramatic sculptures in the Pio-Clementino museum and a collection of ancient Egyptian finds in the Egyptian Museum. Here the big draw is the captivating painting ‘Transfiguration’ by the much-celebrated artist Raphael, who worked on the painting from 1516 until his death in 1520.
Marvel at the masterpieces in the Borghese Gallery
Twenty rooms across two floors provide just enough space to accommodate the profuse amount of artwork collected by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V. Established in 1903, the Galleria Borghese is one of the most popular tourist attractions and a haven for art lovers. With an admission fee of €13, for two hours visitors can admire works by the likes of Bernini and Caravaggio, whom Scipione Borghese was an avid collector of. The time limit of two hours is to ensure enough people get a chance to go inside the gallery. With only 360 visitors allowed inside at a time, we suggest booking your tickets in advance to ensure entry. We would hate for you to miss out on one of Rome’s must-see art pieces! Sculptured between 1622 and 1625 when Bernini was just 24 years old, Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized marble statue re-enacting the story from ancient Greek mythology. Beautifully designed, the statue portrays Apollo clutching the chaste Daphne at the moment her father begins to transform her into a laurel tree to save her from Apollo’s grasp.
Walk through the halls of Doria Pamphili Gallery
Housed in one of the most impressive buildings in Rome, the Palazza Doria Pamphilj is a masterpiece in itself. A stunning palace located in the centre of the city, it houses a large collection of paintings, furniture and statuary that has been assembled since the 16th century. Just a 5-minute walk from Piazza Venezia, the Doria Pamphili Gallery is a tranquil oasis of art. For €12 you get to step back in time and lose yourself in the many paintings and sculptures on display. Pay an extra €2 for the chance to visit the private apartments! We also recommend getting an audio guide to learn more about the speculator artworks and add meaning to the more obscure pieces.
Be amazed at the National Gallery of Modern & Contemporary Art
One of the best art museums in Italy, the National Gallery of Modern Art has over 5,000 paintings and sculptures, including works dating from the neoclassical period to the abstract works of the 1960s. Created in 1883, the gallery was originally located in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni until it was moved in 1915 to the Palace of Fine Arts. The museum’s artworks are divided by two floors. The ground floor is dedicated to 19th century works by the likes of Paul Cezanne, Antonio Canova, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Whereas the top floor is devoted to 20th century art, including Futurist, Cubist, Dadaist and abstract art movements. With such a range of art movements, renown artists and different art forms, a trip to the National Gallery of Modern Art is sure to be an interesting and impressive visit. Visitors can enjoy this variety of art for just €10!
Admire the Renaissance art of Villa Farnesina
One of the most underrated museums in Rome, the Villa Farnesina is a 16th century mansion located in the district of Trastevere. The villa is considered one of the most majestic buildings that remains from the Renaissance period in the whole of Rome. The interior walls of the villa are handsomely decorated with frescoes by major artists, such as, Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo and Peruzzi. The cheapest fee on this list, tickets for Villa Farnesina are only €5. This is amazing value for money considering the luxury and opulence of this striking building, an important manifestation of the lavish lifestyle that predominated Italian society during the Renaissance period. Raphael’s frescoes are the highlight of the Villa’s interior, as his work adorns the ceiling of the palazzo, demonstrating his harmonious compositions and ability to portray noble figures with ethereal grace.