Some museums are better than others and this one is my best in Roma, come here even on my business trips tot he city; but unfortunately it is well guarded and no water, electronics, cameras etc are allowed in with strict security. Is amust while in Rome thus.
Much info here in Italian for those like me that can read it , wonderful photos and descriptions
you need to book the ticket in advance here best , http://www.tosc.it/tickets.htm?affiliate=T2C&sort_by=event_datum&sort_direction=asc&fun=erdetail&doc=erdetaila&erid=912678
a bit of history
The origin of Villa Borghese, a small piece of land was the property of the Borghese family since 1580. But at the beginning of the 17th century, the Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, Paolo V's favourite nephew, began a series of acquisitions of adjacent land with the intention of creating a "villa of delights", symbol of the social status of the family.The first building of the Villa, entrusted to the two architects Flaminio Ponzio e Giovanni Vasanzio and held until the end of the 18th century, provided, following the classical tradition, one part urban and rustic one, which the whole is divided into three "fences", delimited with access doors.In the first fence, the most representative, were placed in addition to the Casino Nobile wanted the Cardinal to receive his hearty collection of art, numerous statues and fountains and a "Garden".Despite some remodeling, the geometric organization of this fence remains the same. The current Park of Daini corresponds to the second fence, a garden for the prince. On the border between the first and the second fence was the Secret Garden, with small houses of the Aviary and the Meridian.The third fence was the part the largest and the most clear, and so that time has undergone the most changes.From the late 18th century, by the desire of Marc-Antoine Borghese, transformation and embellishment work were undertaken, entrusted to architects Antonio and Mario Asprucci, who saw the Noble Casino, minor buildings and Park.The most visible was the realization of the garden of the Lake, a garden in English, with the introduction of exotic species and the construction of a small temple of neo-classical style. In the first decades of the 19th century the villa was extended with the attachment to Villa Giustiniani towards people's door and Villas of Pamphili and Mahajan to the Pinciana door.The work continued with the intervention of Luigi Canine who left in the Villa a new organization and many small works of eclectic and neo-classical inspiration. A new phase ensued through the acquisition by the State (1901) and then by the city. The end of the war to the present, many were the interventions for restoration and recovery organization and decorations from the original Park.The desire to promote a policy which combines mentoring and culture, allows the opening of a new phase for the Villa Borghese, dear to the Romans and tourists, retirement of famous artists, writers, and inspiring the musicians.
A must a jewel to the world.
If you like Greek-Roman sculptural art you will find in the Roman museums statues you will never forget because of their beauty. On the contrary of what many think they are not at the Vatican museum but at the Capitoline Museums that are in my opinion the best museum complex in Rome (I could not restrain from writing half a dozen tips to express my admiration for what is on display).
Here at the CAPITOLINE museums you will find the bronze statue of the "Spinario" or "Boy removing thorn from foot". Certainly one of the most gracious statues of all times, it is probably an original Greek work of the 1st c. BC.
Best known, of course, is the "Lupa Capitolina". This famous Etruscan bronze statue, the emblem of Roma goes back as far as the 6th c. BC. Among the marble statues I did admire is the very famous "Galata Morente". The statue is a copy of a bronze statue from the school of Pergamo (3-2nd c. BC) it is one of the most beautiful pieces of the antic art.
Second is for me the less known MUSEO ROMANO at PALAZZO MASSIMO (located between piazza della Repubblica and Termini bus terminal).
Here a few lines of one of my tips about this collection:
"There are in this museum two large bronze statues, among the most beautiful of the antiquity.
The "Pugilatore" resting pugilist or "boxer" is the ancient, most extraordinary, most attractive statue I saw these ten last years.
I turned and turned around the resting boxer who expresses in such realistic way the tiredness and the suffering of the fight. The wounds of his face are distinctively shown on the bronze. I noted that the protection of hands and forearms by leather gloves made of straps binding the four fingers and leaving the thumb free. They are of a clearer colour because they had been rubbed in the past by people who considered this statue as a good-luck charm "portafortuna".
Some steps further stands another remarkable bronze statue “the Hellenistic Prince". This is maybe king Attalus II of Pergamon or could also be a Roman wishing to be presented as a Greek prince….
Don’t leave Rome without having seen these statues.
There is the early morning option. It's pricey, but friends who have chosen that option did not regret it. http://www.walksinsiderome.com/index.php?id=49 is one option. This is another http://www.italywithus.com/vatican-tours.php
“I live and love in God’s peculiar light.”
— Michelangelo (1475-1564)
Architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger designed Palazzo Farnese in 1514; Michelangelo added the cornice and balcony; and and Giacomo della Porta finished the project.
Commissioned by Alessandro Cardinal Farnese (1468-1549), who had been appointed a cardinal in 1493 at age 25, and who was ascended to papacy as Paul III on 13.October.1534, the palace is an excellent example of the Italian High Renaissance, with a rectangular plan around courtyard.
Through a series of marriages, the palazzo was inherited from the Farnese by the Bourbon king of Naples; in 1874 the government of France bought it from this branch of the Bourbon dynasty. The French Embassy is still housed within the palace’s walls under a 99-year lease, paying the Italian Government a fee of one euro per month. There is a curious connection between the coat-of-arms (stemma in Italian) of France’s Ancien Régime and that of the Farnese (see photo #3); they both use the fleur-de-lys as a heraldic device.
The Embassy is open only to visitors who have booked a spot on the guided tour. Visits (with commentary in Italian, French or English) cover the garden, courtyard and Galleria dei Carracci, where Annibale Carracci’s cycle of stunning frescoes, rumored to rival the Sistine Chapel, can be seen.
Giacomo Puccini sets a scene of his 1900 opera Tosca at Palazzo Farnese. The title character has her fatal confrontation with the Rome’s Chief of Police, Scarpia in the palace.
This museum belongs like the Capitoline museums to the municipality of Rome.
It is located in the Palazzo Braschi from the 18th century standing between Piazza Navona and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The building has been recently restored; the hall and monumental staircase are spectacular. Original tempera paintings still decorate many rooms.
The objects on display in rotating exhibitions are in connection with the history of Rome from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 1900s.
There are special exhibitions. Next one from 8 February to 27 May 2012 is dedicated to the French artists who worked in Rome between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Opening time Tuesday - Sunday: 10 - 20 h; closed on Monday
Tickets standard rate: € 7,50, reduced rate: € 5,50
The entrance to the museum of the Baths of Diocletian (Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme di Diocleziano) is reached by the garden on the right side of the building.
The museum has 3 departments:
1° The Protohistory of the Latin people during the Bronze and Iron ages (12 - 6th c. BC) showing findings of several tombs of these periods. Spectacular are the arms of a Roman officer found in the "Tomb of the warrior of Lanuvium" as well as vessels and other objects from the necropolis of Fidene and Castiglione.
2° The Epigraphy or the study of inscriptions showing the birth and diffusion of the Latin language.
3° The Michaelangelo Cloister with sculptures and sarcophagi.
This museum, by its specific collections, is especially interesting for historians. Tourists will be more pleased to visit the museum of the Palazzo Massimo, just on the other side of the Piazza Cinquecento.
Open 9 - 19.45 h, Closed Monday, 1/01 and 25/12. Tickets office closes 1 hour before.
Price: Combined ticket for Terme di Diocleziano, Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, valid during 3 days: 7 €, reduced 3,50 €, free for EU citizens less than 18 or more than 65 years old.
I presume that you are not travelling to Rome to visit a museum of contemporary art but that you are interested in antiques.
So here is my short list of the best Museums of Antiques in Rome:
Capitoline Museums on the Piazza del Campidoglio (an absolute must see),
Museo Nazionale Romano Palazzo Massimo & Museo Nazionale Romano Palazzo Altemps,
Vatican museum (if you are prepared to spend time on queuing).
For details on what to see in these museums please look at my detailed reviews in the appropriate "things to do" groups.
This appears to be the best deal for Museums in Rome - the ROME PASS - 23€ + free public transportation and you will get into the first 2 museums free and discounts on others - You could see Galleria Borghese & both the Forum & Coloseum as their admission is on the same single ticket.
The Roma Pass will also include unlimited transportation on buses and undergrounds. It will be possible to purchase The Roma Pass in all museums and archaeological sites, tourist information desks and ATAC ticket offices, travel agencies, hotels, exhibition premises as well as online. This pass also covers transportation to/from Ostia Antica.
(Take a look at my tip re the little mini-but #116 - you'll enjoy it and the Rome pass will cover use of it - it does not cover the red double-decker tour bus #110) Of course, enter the more expensive Museums first - Galleria Borghese and the combination Forum/Coloseum or maybe Campidoglio - whichever holds most interest for you.
Normally, I just do not "get" modern art. I appreciate the fact that some people do, and in an attempt to further my understanding, I continue to go to these museums. I can honestly say that this was a place I enjoyed. I loved Klimt's The Kiss in Vienna and there is another one of his works here, along with Pollack and those guys. It requires no more than 2 hours to enjoy and is along Villa Borghese, so would be a great way to get out of the heat in the summer.
Italy’s grenadiers date back to 1659, when Carl Emmanuel II of Savoy established them as an elite infantry regiment. The museum is access-free and every two hours there are free guided tours.
The National Museum of Rome has one of the most important collections of archaeological remains in Europe.
THE NATIONAL ETRUSCAN MUSEUM
This photo is of the Sarcofago degli Sposi, excavated from the Etruscan necropoli in Cerveteri.