Museums of Rome

Roman sculptures, Palazzo Massimo
Roman sculptures, Palazzo Massimo

We bought the Roma Pass for 25 euros from the Palazzo Massimo, one of the National Museums of Rome (Museo Nazionale Romano in Italian). The pass is valid for 3 days and included entry to 2 museums or archaeological sites and 3 days of transport on trains and buses within the city plus discounts at other attractions. The Palazzo Massimo is near Termini Station and it is one of three different museums housing the collection of the National Museum: the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Massimo, and the Palazzo Altemps and all three count as one museum so you can use the pass at another site without having to pay for entry. We used the pass again to bypass the long queues at the Colosseum, a guide touting for business tried to tell us that we still needed to join a guided tour to eat the queues but I had read my travel guides for Rome and we ignored his ‘advice’. Entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill is included with entry to the Colosseum so technically, you can visit all 6 sites mentioned with the one pass but it is alot to squeeze into 3 days especially if you have other attractions you want to see.

Detail of Roman sarcophagus, Palazzo Massimo
Detail of Roman sarcophagus, Palazzo Massimo
Mosaic, Palazzo Massimo
Mosaic, Palazzo Massimo
The Colosseum
The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre

The two other museums we visited during our stay in Rome were the Vatican Museums and the Capitoline Museums. We decided to do a guided tour of the Vatican Museums because we wanted to understand what we were looking at, it was a good idea however I think we would choose an early morning private tour next time, they cost alot more but you enter the museums before they actually open. The crowds in the Vatican Museums made it almost unbearable at times, yet it didn’t take anything away from the beauty of the Raphael rooms and Sistine Chapel.

The School of Athens, artist Raphael, Vatican Museum
The School of Athens, artist Raphael, Vatican Museum
Hall of maps, Vatican Museum
Hall of maps, Vatican Museum
Legacy of a Pope, Vatican Museum courtyard
Legacy of a Pope, Vatican Museum courtyard
Red porphry bowl, Vatican Museum
Red porphry bowl, Vatican Museum

The Capitoline Museum was less busy, almost empty in comparison and on a hot day it was one of the best places to be, cool and comfortable, away from the mad rush outside. I explored this museum by myself, my husband was a tad over the museum/church thing by then and I wasn’t leaving Rome without seeing the colossal feet or statue of the wolf feeding baby Romulus and Remus. From memory it was 11 euros to enter the museum, average price for a tourist attraction in Rome and by now my Roma Pass had expired. The sculptures and mosaics contained within are a must-see for any art lover or history buff, I had only seen these pieces were in art books or text books at school and here I could almost touch them.

Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill
Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo
Wolf feeding Romulus and Remus, Capitoline Museum
Wolf feeding Romulus and Remus, Capitoline Museum
Colossus foot, Capitoline Museum
Colossus foot, Capitoline Museum
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