Art and History Buffs Take Note. Rome's Best Museums

For good reason, Rome is often referred to as an open-air museum. It is a living, breathing example of art and history and it's no surprise it boasts one of the largest collections of art, sculptures and ancient relics in the world. 

When it comes to museums, everyone has their own tastes. And for those of you looking to feed your eyes and soul with art and history, you've come to the right place. Rome is just one of those cities that offers something for everyone and in the area of museums, is no different.

If you're into contemporary art and architecture, you could spend a day taking in the beauty of light installations and modern art exhibits at the MACRO and the MAXXI. If you you fancy admiring ancient relics and sculptures, then perhaps, the Capitoline Museums or the National Etruscan Museum is a good fit . If it's sublime 16th century Baroque artwork you're after then Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Borghese are your place and don't forget the Vatican Museums - with their Egyptian Age to late Renaissance masterpieces, is the one of the most important collections in the world.

Whatever you fancy, 10Best has highlighted some of the very best for you to check out during your trip.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme – Museo Nazionale Romano
Photo courtesy of photogestion


The Baths of Diocletian (the largest imperial baths) was once the exclusive home of the Museo Nazionale Romano when it opened its doors in 1889. Throughout the years, the museum expanded so much that in 2000, it spread itself out over four...  Read More



Right in the center of the city in the pretty Piazza di Spagna is the apartment where the great English and romantic poet, John Keats spent the last days of his life. The poet was best known for his poems "Ode to a Nightingale" and "She Walks...  Read More

Palazzo Barberini – Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica


The Palazzo Barberini is truly one of Rome's most precious palaces and a pioneer of Baroque style. Three great masterminds were commissioned by Barberini Pope Urban VIII to create the lavish 17th century palace: Carlo Maderno, Francesco...  Read More

Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum


With its dominant presence looming over the Tiber River, it's hard not to marvel at the immense landmark, Castel Sant'Angelo. The castle was originally built to serve as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian but in the 6th century, was turned into a...  Read More



The Complesso del Vittoriano is an exhibition space located in the same space as the Vittoriano monument which is in honor of Vittorio Emanuele, the first King of unified Italy and the Altare della Patria (alter in the name of the motherland)....  Read More

Airport - Fco


When Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1579--1633), a lucrative art collector, decided to build a palace in Rome, his plans were big. His vision for the perfect palace was an abode that exuded over-the-top luxury and a fabulous park to go along with...  Read More

Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo  (MAXXI)
Photo courtesy of ho visto nina volare


The new kid on the block in Rome is the MAXXI museum (Museo di Arte del XXI Secolo) which opened in 2010 in the Flaminio area. The museum has the famous Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid to thank for its stunning 60 million euro design and...  Read More

Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO)


What was once the location of the brewery of famed Italian beer Peroni, is now the industrial space where Rome's uber sleek contemporary art museum, the MACRO is located. The museum recently underwent a massive makeover, giving it a stylish and...  Read More

Piazza Venezia


Visiting the Eternal City and not making a stop at the Vatican Museums is almost like breaking one of the ten commandments. It's where some of the world's greatest art collection is stored. The Vatican Museums are actually apart of the Vatican...  Read More

Piazza Venezia


Perched atop the Campidoglio hill, is one of Rome's most prominent museums, the Capitoline Museums. What makes this museum so famous is the vast amount of ancient sculptures, relics and archeological finds uncovered in and around Rome, all on...  Read More


Meet Maria Pasquale

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne.

An award winning food and travel writer, in addition to 10Best USA Today she also...  More About Maria