The city of Rome is rich in monuments, museums, ruins ... but most of these buildings are not free and therefore prevent some people from accessing the culture.to avoid this, the town hall has decided to make free the museums for young people under 18 and for students in art and architecture. European students and young people under 15 years old as well as senior citizens prefer reduced rates.
Moreover, each month, on the first Sunday, many museums are free whatever your age! Take the opportunity to visit the museums you found too expensive or the museums you were interested in less: it's free! A good opportunity to leave home and finally do something productive on your Sunday rather than stay in bed with a bunch of cake and the latest Netflix series ... we are all guilty of that ;)
However be careful to provide time to visit these museums, as the entrance is free the number of visitors is much larger than usual, so it will be necessary to be patient before entering the buildings concerned.
FREE MUSEUMS FOR EVERYONE ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH:
The Colosseum and the Roman Forum:
The Colosseum, symbol of the city, is located in the heart of Rome. It is the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, it could accommodate up to 50,000 spectators.
A single ticket allows you to visit both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Address: Piazza del Colosseo Opening Hours: 8.30am until sunset
The National Roman Museums:
The National Roman Museums were created to preserve and display the remains of Ancient Rome, it is the largest archaeological collection in the world. These museums include four distinct buildings: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi and the site of the Diocletian baths. The ticket is valid for 3 days (the free Sunday ticket is only valid for the day) and gives access to the four museums.
Palazzo Massimo: Largo di Villa Peretti Opening Hours: 9am to 7:45pm
Palazzo Altemps: Piazza di Sant'Apollinare, 46
Crypta Balbi: Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31
Diocletian Baths: Viale Enrico De Nicola, 79
The Castel Sant'Angelo:
Located not far from St. Peter's Basilica, the castle was a mausoleum imagined by the emperor Hadrian, as a tomb for him and his successors. Over the centuries, the castle was a military fort, a prison and the residence of popes. During guided tours, it is still possible to walk along the Passetto di Borgo - a raised and fortified passage that links the Castle to the Vatican. This passage allowed the pope to take refuge in the castle if need be.
Since 1925, it has hosted art and history collection and objects of the Italian army. From the terrace, an impressive panorama allows to contemplate the whole city.
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50 Hours: 9.30am - 7.30pm
The Etruscan National Museum of Villa Giulia:
Not far from the Villa Borghese, stands the Villa Giulia, an imposing building that includes the largest collection in the world dedicated to the Etruscan civilization. The palace is also surrounded by gardens where it is pleasant to walk.
Address: Via di Villa Giulia, 9 Hours: 9am to 8pm
The Borghese gallery:
Located in the villa of the same name, it has 20 rooms. The collection consists of paintings (Caravaggio, Raphael ...), sculptures (Bernini ...) and antiques. Before or after the visit it is also very pleasant to walk around the (very large) park of the villa, privileged place of the Romans to picnic. You will also find a zoo in this park.
To visit the gallery Borghese the first Sunday of the month it is necessary to book his ticket well in advance and pay € 2 booking fee.
Address: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5 Hours: 9am to 7pm
The museums HC Andersen, M. Praz and Boncompagni Ludovisi for the decorative arts and costumes:
The HC Andersen Museum was the home and studio of the American-Norwegian artist Hendrik Christian Andersen. On the ground floor, there are statues, busts and draws of the artist. On the first floor, the apartments were transformed into an exhibition space dedicated to the relations between Italy and the foreign artists of the XIX, XX and XXI century.
Address: Via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, 20 Hours: 09:30 to 19:30
The Mario Praz Museum is located on the third floor of the Primoli Palace. It is a house-museum that displays the collection of Mario Praz as it was in his home. It includes Russian objects, German porcelain and paintings. The museum also gives access to the old library of Mario Praz. In the same building is also the Napoleonic Museum of Rome.
Address: Via Zanardelli Giuseppe, 1
The Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum for Decorative Arts and Costumes is located in Villino Boncompagni, an art nouveau villa of the 20th century. The museum, opened since 1995, is dedicated to haute couture, ceramics, jewelry and costumes.
Address: Via Boncompagni, 18 Hours: 9am to 1.30pm and 2.30 to 7pm
The baths of Caracalla:
Located at the foot of the Aventine Hill, not far from the Circo Massimo, the Baths of Caracalla were one of the largest and richest thermal establishments of the Roman Empire and are the best preserved. They could accommodate up to 1600 people at the same time and offered many activities: public and private baths, massages, gymnastics ...
Address: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 52 Hours: 9am to 7.30pm
The mausoleum of Cecilia Metella:
Built in 50 BC, the mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is the most famous tomb of the Via Appia Antica. It is located just after the stadium and Villa Maxence. In the Middle Ages, the building was transformed into a fortress occupied by the Orsini and Colonna.
Address: Via Appia Antica, 161 Hours: 9am to 7.15pm
The National Gallery of Modern Art, located on the border of Borghese Park, includes more than 5,000 painters and sculptures; it is the largest collection of modern art in Italy.
Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131 Hours: from 8:30am to 7:30pm
The Spada gallery:
The collection of the Spada gallery is composed of various works from the XVI and XVII century that belonged to the Spada family. However, the main asset of this gallery is the optical illusion court performed by Borromini. It is a gallery of 9m long which seems to measure 40.
Address: Piazza Capo di Ferro, 13 Hours: from 8.30am to 7.30pm
Ostia is a city not far from Rome (45 minutes by train from Termini station) where was the ancient port of Rome. Today you can still visit the theater, the forum, the baths ... Outside the archaeological site, the city has access to the sea, however the coastline is not particularly pretty and is very touristy. If you want to spend a day at the beach it is better to take other trains that will take you in about 1 hour on the Mediterranean coast, the more you go down to the south more the more typical the villages will be.
Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131 Hours: from 8:30am to 6:15pm
The National Museum of the Palace of Venice:
The collection of the Palace of Venice includes sculptures and paintings from the Castel Sant'Angelo, the National Gallery of Ancient Art and the Encyclopedic Museum of the Roman College.
Address: Piazza di S. Marco, 49 Hours: 8:30am to 7:30pm
The National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is entirely devoted to contemporary art. The museum itself is already an architectural work. The MAXXI is composed of two museums: one of art and the other of architecture. In addition to these two museums, the MAXXI includes a media library, a bookstore, restorative spaces and temporary exhibitions.
Address: Via Guido Reni, 4/a Hours: from 11am to 7pm
The National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum "Luigi Pigorini":
The museum is located in the EUR district, designed for the Universal Exhibition of Rome which was to take place in 1942 but was canceled due to the Second World War. Although the building is fairly recent, the collection dates from 1875 and brings together prehistoric and Italian objects and works from around the world.
Address: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 14 Hours: 8am to 7pm
The villa Quintilius:
The Quintilius villa is located at the gates of the city, between Via Appia Antica and Via Appia Nuova. Initially the villa belonged to the brothers Quintilius, it was then the imperial residence of the Emperor Commodus. Its elevated position and views of the countryside have inspired many artists. Today it is still a nice place for a sunny walk.
Address: Via Appia Nuova, 1092 Hours: from 9AM to 7:30pm
The National Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions:
Also located in the EUR district, the museum is composed of three thematic sections: the Earth and its resources, daily life and rites, festivals & ceremonies. The Palace of Popular Traditions was inaugurated in 1956 but its origin dates from 1911 during the Italian ethnographic exhibition in Rome as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy.
Address: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 8 Hours: 8am to 7pm
The National Art Gallery of Palazzo Barberini and the National Gallery of Ancient Art of Palazzo Corsini:
Opposite Villa Farnesina there is the Corsini Palace. The collection houses paintings and sculptures from the 14th to the 18th century. It is also nice to look at the murals, ornaments and decorations of the building.
The Barberini Palace hosts the National Gallery of Ancient Art. You will find Italian and foreign paintings from the 13th to the 18th century, including works by Raphael and Caravaggio.
The two museums are located in different buildings but a single ticket allows you to visit the two galleries.
Corsini Gallery: Via della Lungara, 10 Hours: from 8.30am to 7pm
Corsini Gallery: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13 Hours: 8am to 7pm
The National Museum of the High Middle Ages:
Inaugurated in 1967, the museum is composed of 8 rooms devoted to the Roman art of the IV and IX century.
Address: Viale Lincoln, 3 Hours: 9am to 7pm
Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este in Tivoli:
Villa Adriana was built by Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century. Located in Tivoli, a small town with palaces, fountains and baths imitating the Greek and Egyptian architectural styles. The villa rests on a surface of 120 hectares. Although only 40 hectares can be visited, it is still important to channel your visit to the most interesting parts such as the Canopus, replica of the sanctuary of Alexandria, or the maritime theater. In the sixteenth century much of the marble elements of Villa Adriana were looted to decorate the Villa d'Este.
Located in a former convent, the villa d'Este has a neat decoration. However, the most impressive "works" are the landscapes that one discovers through the windows. The villa also has gardens with more than 500 fountains and sculptures.
You can visit both villas in one day (a bus connects them for 1 €) and have lunch in Tivoli. A bus service connects Tivoli to Rome for 2 €.
Address: Largo Marguerite Yourcenar, 1, Tivoli Hours: 9am to 5.30pm
The National Museum of Musical Instruments:
The museum holds a unique sum of instruments: nearly 3,000 pieces dating from the end of antiquity to the 18th century. The museum is divided into 16 thematic rooms including archeology and exotic instruments, popular music from Europe ...
Address: Piazza di S. Croce in Gerusalemme, 9/a Hours: from 9.30am to 6.30pm
FREE MUSEUMS FOR ROME RESIDENTS ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH:
To promote access to the culture of their city, the Romans have a privileged access to some museums for free on the first Sunday of each month, on presentation of a document that will confirm their place of residence.
The Museums of Villa Torlonia:
The park of Villa Torlonia houses two museums: the Noble Pavilion and the Owl Pavilion.
The noble Pavilion was built between 1800 and 1840 and decorated by many artists. From 1925 to 1943, the villa was entrusted to Mussolini who built an anti-gas basement and a bunker. Today the building hosts the Museum of the Villa on the first floor (sculptures and furniture) and on the second there is the Museum of the Roman School (sculptures, paintings and drawings).
The owl's Pavilion is very original: it was built to reproduce a Swiss hut. It was then the residence of the Torlonia princes. The name of the Pavilion comes from the many decorative elements inspired by the owl.
Address: Via Nomentana, 70 Hours: from 9am to 7pm
The Civic Gallery of Modern Art:
Located in a former Carmelite monastery, the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome contains over 3,000 works (sculptures, paintings and drawings) from the 19th to the 20th century.
Address: Via Francesco Crispi, 24 Hours: 10am to 18:30pm
The markets of Trajan:
Built in 100 BC, it is the first covered shopping center in history. The complex comprises 6 floors and more than 150 shops. Today the building houses the Museum of Imperial Forums.
Address: Via Quattro Novembre, 94 Hours: 9:30am to 7:30pm
The Museum of Rome at the Palace Braschi:
Located in the Braschi Palace, the museum houses many works related to the history of Rome from the Middle Ages to the 20th century and presents various aspects of history: culture, topography, architecture, art ...
Address: Piazza di S. Pantaleo, 10 Hours: from 10am to 7pm
The Centrale Montemartini:
The Montemartini power plant houses 400 statues from the collections of the Capitoline Museums in a former thermal power plant,
The thermoelectric power station was inaugurated in 1912. After fifty years of activity, the production is stopped in 1963. Twenty years later the complex was renovated in order to transform it into a cultural space. In 1995, during the renovation of the Capitoline Museums some sculptures were temporarily exposed in the Montemartini power station. However, a large number of statues remained in the power plant after the reopening of the Capitoline Museums.
Address: Via Ostiense,106 Hours: from 9am to 7pm
The Rome Museum of Trastevere:
Located in a former convent, this museum presents reconstructions of everyday life in Trastevere in the 18th and 19th centuries. A room is also dedicated to the Roman poet Trilussa.
Address: Piazza di S. Egidio, 1b Hours: from 10am to 8pm
The Ara Pacis Museum:
Erected on the field of Mars, the Ara Pacis is a memorial celebrating peace following the victorious battles of the Emperor Augustus. The altar is dedicated to the goddess of peace, Pax, and was placed for having the shadow of the obelisk in the fields of Mars to be projected on the Ara Pacis on the birthday of Augustus.
Address: Lungotevere dei Mellini, 35 Hours: 9:30 to 19:30
The Civic Museum of Zoology:
The zoological museum of Rome keeps about 5 million species from mollusc to whale. The museum includes various themed rooms such as the coral reef, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, skeletons ... It is also a cultural center that studies animal biodiversity and organizes many events throughout the year: presentation of books, conferences ...
Address: Via Ulisse Aldrovandi, 18 Hours: 9am to 7pm
Composed of two buildings in two areas, one in Testaccio, the other not far from Villa Borghese, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome offers temporary exhibitions. At the moment you can attend an exhibition on Pink Floyd until 1 July 2018 (Via Nizza).
Testaccio: Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4 Hour: from 9h to 21h
Villa Borghese: Via Nizza, 138
THE PARTICULAR CASE OF THE VATICAN:
As a rule, the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays, but the entrance to the basilica is free every day of the week, even on Sundays. Every Sunday at noon, the pope blesses the crowd from his apartments.
However, on the last Sunday of each month the Vatican Museums open for free. A single visit does not allow you to see everything and it is better to take a guide to fully enjoy your visit in this beautiful place. Be that as it may, do not miss Raphael's rooms, the map gallery and of course the Sistine Chapel.
When museums are free, a huge crowd is waiting to visit! A word of advice: arrive early, VERY early!
Basilica: Piazza San Pietro, from 7am to 6.30pm
Museums: Viale Vaticano, from 9am to 6pm