10 Things You Must See in Rome Right Now

Rome is a city of boundless arts and culture. It’s sometimes difficult to decide what to see especially if you are pressed for time. These are 10 things I recommend you see in Rome right now.

Some of these are permanent attractions or exhibitions; others are on for a limited time only. Nonetheless, I have handpicked my favourites and those I consider worthwhile, and suggest you take this opportunity to see them all too.

 

Criminology Museum

Criminology Museum

1.    Criminology Museum

I can vouch that this museum is by far one of the oddest attractions in Rome. If you’re interested in the city’s criminal history, the mafia and more then head down to Museo Criminologico. It’s not all about exquisite buildings in Rome and this museum will surely give you a completely new perspective of the past. Expect glass cases of torture equipment, weapons, guillotines, clothing worn by executioners and much more.

2.    Basilica St Clemente

This church looks pretty ordinary from the outside but believe you me it is worth venturing indoors and paying the entrance fee. St Clemente comprises three levels that palpably illuminate the history of the city and of this particular spiritual spot on the map. Expect tiny underground tunnels, a musty locked-up smell and interesting wall paintings dating back to the first century.

3.    Tutti De Sica at Museo dell’ Ara Pacis


Tutti De Sica at Museo dell’ Ara Pacis

Tutti De Sica at Museo dell’ Ara Pacis

The Tutti De Sica exhibition is currently on at Ara Pacis until the 28th of April and boy is it fascinating. The exhibition is subtitled ‘The One Thousand Lives of Vittorio De Sica’ – a famous Italian actor and film director who is considered the father of neo-realism.

Expect photographs, posters of his films, costumes, letters from his private life and much more. I particularly loved the section on Sophia Loren and the film clips of her dancing.

Having knowledge of the Italian language really helps since there is not a single word of English throughout the exhibition. However, the exhibition is very visual, moving and pretty self-explanatory so it is still worth visiting even if you don’t understand the lingo.

Be sure to view the interesting Ara Pacis altar to peace before venturing downstairs to view the exhibition.

 

Museo dell’ Ara Pacis

Museo dell’ Ara Pacis

4.    Cubisti Cubismo / Cubism Cubist Exhibition

Lovers of contemporary art are flocking to the cubism exhibition at the Vittorio Emanuele complex at Piazza Venezia. If you’ve never seen cubist works before then you will thoroughly enjoy this exhibition, which features Picasso, Braque and other famous cubist artists. In particular, you’ll see two very famous pieces – Braque’s ‘Parco a Carrieres-Saint-Denis’ (1909) and Picasso’s ‘Nudo’ (1909). Cubisti Cubismo is on until the 23rd of June.

 

Cubisti Cubismo / Cubism Exhibition

Cubisti Cubismo / Cubism Exhibition

Cubisti Cubismo / Cubism Exhibition

Cubisti Cubismo / Cubism Exhibition

5. Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo)

Purchase a ticket to this museum and you get to see 3 other museums included in the price too (Baths of Diocletian, Crypto Balbi and Palazzo Altemps). The ticket is valid for these four sites over three days so there is no need to rush from pillar to post within a single day.

My favourite of the four is Museo Nazionale Romano at Palazzo Massimo (a few minutes from the Termini metro stop). This is by far the most interesting and thorough museum detailing the history of ancient Rome in a beautiful and fascinating manner.

Purchase the audio guide for a more complete trip to the museum and for a better understanding of the history of each artifact. Expect to see the oldest Roman calendar to date, original Greek and Roman sculptures, breathtaking and massive sarcophagi and much more.

6.    Centrale Montemartini Museum

 

Centrale Montemartini Museum

Centrale Montemartini Museum

Reach Montemartini via the Garbatella metro stop. The museum is a few minutes from there by foot. At Centrale Montemartini you can expect something totally different to any of the museums in Rome. And for this reason alone it is worth the trip.

Montemartini is an unusual museum comprising Roman sculptures set against the backdrop of an industrial factory. The placing of the sculptures close to the machines creates a fascinating juxtaposition of ancient and modern.

7.    Capuchin Crypt 

 

Capuchin Crypt

Capuchin Crypt

Two minutes from the Barberini metro stop, the Capuchin Crypt forms part of Santa Maria della Concezione. This attraction is one of the oddest you’ll see in Rome. Remnants of skeletons belonging to the Capuchin friars adorn walls and ceilings in the most unusual of manners. Take your time to browse the rooms leading up to the skeletons and listen carefully to the history of the Capuchins on the audio guide. There is much to be learnt before viewing the skeletons.

8.     Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderne

If you’ve seen all the museums featuring ancient Roman artifacts and want to experience more modern art, I suggest you get down to Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderne in Villa Borghese. Even if you’re not that into modern art I suggest going just to see the incredible broken mirror floor that adorns the entrance behind the main information desk. It’s a slightly peculiar experience walking upon broken mirrors and seeing yourself in the distorted reflection.

9.     Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

 

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

The Pamphilj family preserved this beautiful collection of paintings housed in a convenient setting right off Via Del Corso (near Piazza Venezia). The Pamphilj family own Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and the audio guide is in fact narrated by Prince Pamphilj himself. This is therefore highly fascinating and adds a much more personal facet to your trip. It is interesting to hear the prince’s perspective on the different rooms in the gallery and what they were once used for.

10.     Catacombs of Domitilla

 

Catacombs of Domitilla

Catacombs of Domitilla

The Catacombs of Domitilla is definitely one of the 10 things you must see in rome right now. There is an incredible underground network of catacombs within the city and only a certain percentage of the catacombs is open to the public. In particular, the Catacombs of Domitilla is the largest catacomb in Rome and covers 15km of ground and has approximately 80 painted tombs. This is an incredible insight into early Christian burial methods.

 

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