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10.22.2014

Museums in Rome { Musei Nazionale Romana }

Museums in Rome Musei Nazionale Romana


Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Walks of Italy and CoopCulture gave me a gift for my birthday. They didn't know it was my birthday, but I celebrated the recent October day (and the day before and the day after; birthdays should be indulgent right? ) with a walk around Rome with some of my favorite pals and by visiting the four museums of the Musei Nazionale Romana


Crypta Balbi

We started at the whimsical Bernini elephant in Piazza Minerva near the Pantheon and strolled though Piazza Navona where we learned about the bitter rivalry between Boromini and Gian Lorenzo Francesco Bernini, browsed the colorful stalls of flowers and produce in Campo di Fiori and finally ended up at the Crypta Balbi.  This tour was of the Esedra, an active archeological site that extends blocks back from the modern street entrance. Describe by our guide as a lasagna we explored the site that has been the Teatro de Pompey, a Mithrian temple, a church that housed former filles de jois, public bathrooms and a Roman house. I walk past this museum many many times a week. I look in the bookstore window and say to myself,  I really should stop in there one day and then keep walking. I am so glad I finally went inside and know what lies behind that door.

Palazzo Massimo

I don't love rows and rows (and rows) of heads on columns. After a few marble statues I start to zone out. That means that when I visit the Palazzo Massimo I head straight to the to top floor where the frescoes and mosaics are. I could spend all day up here. When I am sitting in the reconstruction of a room from the Villa Livia, with it's painted botanicals I feel like I can almost hear the birdsong.
This part of the museum is kind of like being in a really exclusive home decor studio. The designs and colors are so timeless and stylish. I dream about a having a copy of one of the intricate mosaic floors with geometric designs or aquatic creatures in a house someday. 

The Baths of Diocletian/Terme di Diocleziano

Since this museum is just across the piazza from Palazzo Massimo it seemed silly to not pop in there too. I found it blissfully empty so after a quick wander around I spent a good part of the afternoon in the courtyard designed my Michelangelo on the company of ancient roman statues and towering Cyprus trees and pines. 

Palazzo Altemps

In this 15th century Palazzo that was once the home of an Austrian born Cardinal you will find room after empty room of classical marble sculpture dating from 600BC to the Roman era that was once part of the famed Ludovisi collection. My favorite parts of Palazzo Altemps were the quiet courtyard, the decorated ceilings and the incredible Baroque frescoed portico lined with potted orange trees. 

Each of these museums is a quiet jewel. Empty and not too large that you get overwhelmed. Being able to visit each of them over a few sunny October days was the perfect celebration for, as a friend said to me, another turn around the sun.

You can book guided tours through Walks of Italy and CoopCultural.

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana

Museums in Rome, Musei Nazionale Romana



1 comment :

  1. Beautiful pictures! Good to know about these museums anyway! I have been to Rome several times but we so many things to do I never took them in consideration :D Have a look at my page of Rome on Gadders.eu and add your review if you want ;)

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