The Top Must-See Museums and Art Galleries in Rome

~ by Robert Cole

Rome is like a huge museum and art gallery with all of the historical sites and amazing architecture that you can see around you. Walking around the streets of Rome would make you feel like you are seeing the best artworks the world has to offer. If you love and appreciate the beauty of arts, going to Rome and visiting its museums and art galleries should be your priority. We will list down some of the best art galleries and museums that you can find in Rome.

1. Museum-House of Hendrik Andersen

Hendrik Andersen is a Norwegian-born artist and this museum contains some of the works that he made over the years. The neo-classical villa was actually opened in 1999 and it is now one of the must-see museums in Rome. It contains a lot of tools, paintings, sculptures, and outfits. You can see the house that he lived in from 1925 until 1940.

2. Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Altemps is just located across the Piazza Navona and it was named as such after it was bought by an Austrian cardinal in the 16th century. Inside the museum is actually a collection of various classic sculptures including the Ludovisi Gaul and the Ludovisi Ares, which is a Roman copy of the 4th century BCE. The most astonishing and grand is a 3rd-century sarcophagus that is carved from a single stone.

Sarcophagus at Palazzo Altemp

3. Terme Diocleziano

This museum was actually made in 306 AD to honor Emperor Diocletian. They now stand close to the main transport hub Termini and it is now part of the National Museum of Rome. You can check out the haunting funerary sculptures, sarcophagi, and tombs that are displayed here. You can also look at the different exhibitions and works of great artists like Rodin and Henry Moore.

4. Scuderie del Quirinale

If you are looking for great works coming from popular artists like Frida Kahlo, Hiroshige, Picasso, and Matisse, these exhibitions have been shown at the Scuderie del Quirinale. It is definitely a place to admire the best works of these popular artists. It was transformed in 1999 as a gallery space. The large rooms and sweeping staircase actually welcomed the iconic works of these popular artists.

5. Vatican Museums

If you are going to visit Rome, the Vatican Museums should be one of your top picks. The Sistine Chapel, which is renowned worldwide, is found in the Vatican Museums. There are so many things to see in this museum including its 1,400 rooms, galleries, and chapels. There are more than 20,000 treasures that were collected by the Popes over the centuries and they are all displayed here.

It would be impossible to see everything in a single day so you should look for the Gallery of Maps, the Raphael Rooms and of course the Sistine Chapel at the end of the itinerary. If you want to have a highlighted tour of the Vatican Museums, you can opt for the online travel agency MustGo.

Laocoon Group at the Vatican Museums

6. Capuchin Crypt

Do you want your trip to the museum a bit spooky and exciting? The Capuchin Crypt is a great choice if you want something unique to visit. It is a spooky crypt found near Piazza Barberini. The walls are actually designed with a lot of bones from more than 3,700 Capuchin monks.
You should check out the Pelvis room because it is one of the favorites of travelers and you should never miss the finger clock as well. Remember that this is not for the faint of hearts and children should not go as well.

Rape of Proserpina

7. Borghese Gallery

Commonly known as Galleria Borghese, it is one of the best and the most popular museums in Rome. Most people say that the best museum was the city itself, but you can find a wide range of museums and art galleries in Rome that would take your breath away.
Galleria Borghese contains collections and arts from the Renaissance and the beginning of Baroque. If you love to see some of the antiquities from ancient Rome, this is a good place to check out. There are 20 rooms inside the 17th-century villa. The exhibitions can be found on the top and bottom floor of the mansion. The first floor contains the artworks of popular artists like Caravaggio, Botticelli, Rubens, Tiziano, Raphael, and more. On the ground floor, you can see classic antiquities coming from the first up to the third century AD.

8. Musei Capitolini

Did you know that the first public museum in the world can be found in Rome? Yes, Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) is the very first public museum in the world and it currently holds the bronze Capitoline Wolf (Rome’s Symbol).
This museum contains the raids of the Roman Emperors starting from Augustus to Caligula. It contains statues, paintings, and more. It is composed of three separate buildings that are surrounding Piazza del Campidoglio.
If you love to visit museums, this is the one that you should visit because it contains the historical raids obtained by the Roman Emperors. If you are interested to know what they got during their reign, this is the best museum to check out.

Capitoline Museums

9. Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia

The Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia is the 16th-century villa of Pope Julius III and it contains some of the finest collections of pre-roman and Etruscan treasures. If you want to check out the popular villa of one of the popes in Rome, this is your chance.
However, it is now a museum and it contains a wide variety of exhibits coming from tombs that are surrounding the Lazio region. It also has bronze figurines as well as temple decorations, terracotta vases, and various sophisticated jewelry.
If you are going to visit this museum, you should check the polychrome terracotta statue of Apollo as well as the 6th Century BC Sarcofago degli Sposi or the Sarcophagus of the Betrothed that was found in Cerveteri in 1881.

10. Museo Nazionale Romano

Museo Nazionale Romano or commonly known as the National Roman Museum is very unique as it has different branches around the city and they are found in separate buildings. If you visit this museum, you can see exhibits that are related to the pre-and early history of Rome. It contains the archeological findings done during the Ancient Rome period.
The ground and first floors contain the bronze statues of the Athlete and the Boxer at Rest. The second floor contains mosaics, stuccoes, and Frescoes including the ones that are found in the villa of Livia and many more.


It is very exciting to visit Rome as you have a lot of places to go to. If you are a lover of art and you want to see the arts and crafts that are usually mentioned in your textbooks when you are still in grade school, check out all of the museums mentioned above.

Richard Cole

Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.

About Davide

Davide is a Columbia University alumnus and a member of the Columbia Alumni Association of Italy. He received a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from the Department of Italian at Columbia University in 2012. Davide was born in Correggio, Reggio Emilia in 1978 in a loosely catholic environment. At the age of 1.6 he gets involved with the Reggio Children lobby. Later, moved by idealistic hope for a better world, he starts a liturgical organ class, as if it made an impact. He also plays soccer. He quits both. He surprises everybody devoting himself to writing — well, rewriting — placing and removing commas on every page, to exhaustion. In 2005 db2296 moves to New York, where he makes a living by writing subtitles for B-movies. After many brilliant accomplishments in the field, he gets fired for ruining a pun in Fandango, that which upset Kevin Costner. Hopeless, db2296 obtains a PhD in Italian Literature from Columbia University with a dissertation on Ubertino da Casale and some obscure 13th-century friars obsessed with the Apocalypse and the coming of the Antichrist — thanks to the generous interest of the Whiting Foundation Fellowship. According to Colorado College, where he had the pleasure of teaching Italian, db2296 is “sincere advocate for inter-cultural and experiential learning”. Not everybody knows that his favourite author is Sir Laurence Sterne, followed by Czar Vladimir Nabokov. As for his private life he has no secrets.
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