Museums in Rome are numerous, diverse, and full of interesting history.
With all its streets, fountains, ruins and sculptures Rome itself is like one big museum under the blue skies. This museum exposes all the epochs within at least 2000 years of the roman history, and once you have stepped on the land of the Eternal City you feel it immediately.
So, what kind of museums are there in the City of Seven Hills?
Well, I would divide all the museums of Rome into three groups: musei in comune, private collections and antiquariums.
Musei in comune is a governmental network of Roman museums, exhibitions, and events of the first value. I wrote in detail about this category of museums in my previous article on this topic. Here is the official website of musei in comune http://www.museiincomuneroma.it/en. The list of the museums in Rome in the list of musei in comune is vast and here you’ll find such names as Capitoline Museums, Centrali Montemartini, Museo dell’Ara Pacis and so on, and so forth. What’s important is that here you can find not only artistic museums, but also zoological, astronomical and many other scientific ones, too.
Rome takes special pride in the existence of private collections, for they belonged and sometimes even still belong to the noble families, whose ancestry hides deep in the history of Rome and Roman Papacy.
Amazingly, Roman nobility was among the first to start investing into art and accumulating luxury objects as assets and investment into the future. They were among the first to finance artists, writers and sculptures and they in fact were the first to become art macenats, who saw the importance of artists in the world of developing art empires. Roman nobility treated them as creators whose names were acknowledged and praised and who also were well-paid.
Normally, amazing stories about the oldest and most influential families of the Eternal City stand behind each private collection, which makes them stand out among other great museums in Rome. For instance, such private collections as the Villa Borghese Gallery and Gallery of Doria Pamphilj shouldn’t be missed by any means.
Antiquarium is a kind of museum in progress with a collection of archaeological findings yet to be explained. As Rome is unimaginably rich in history, there is still big archaeological work going on in quite many places around the Eternal City. Some of them can be visited, but that’s definitely not compulsory for the first time visitors. Anyway, I am obviously going to write about the most famous antiquariums in the near future as there are definitely interesting sights among them, too.