Inside Rome's museums, arts and culture are preserved and displayed. However, you can also find masterpieces scattered across the city itself.
Italy's capital has been around for thousands of years, so practically every street is an exhibit. You can see monuments from ancient Rome like the Colosseum, as well as sculpted fountains in piazzas.
Still, there's nothing like spending several hours in a museum. For modern art from local and international artists, visit the Gagosian Gallery or the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO). For more traditional masterpieces showcasing the history and culture of Rome, check out the following places.
Inside a wonderful 17th century villa, you'll find one of the best private art collections in Rome. The Museo e Galleria Borghese is a must-see for lovers of Renaissance art. It houses sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and paintings by Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian. Be sure to book a ticket and a time slot online as they only allow 360 people inside every two hours.
St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel should not be your only stops when visiting the Vatican. Make sure you also go to the Vatican Museums. They house art from different places and time periods, including a collection of modern religious art. Plan ahead and get a fast-track ticket or a pre-booked tour to avoid the long lines.
The Capitoline Museums are found at the Piazza del Campidoglio, itself a work of art by Michelangelo. The museum dates back to 1471, making it the world's oldest public museum. You'll find plenty of sculptures, paintings, and other artworks arranged in different halls. Be sure to get an audio guide so you can wander around and learn more about the masterpieces at your own pace.
Originally opened in 1930, the Museo di Roma holds artworks and artefacts that document the history and traditions of Rome. If you have a couple of hours free after seeing the Eternal City's landmarks, stop by the museum. Wander around and get an insight into local history and politics. The Museo di Roma also regularly holds special exhibits.
When you explore the cobbled streets of Trastevere, be sure to stop by the Palazzo Corsini. Built in 1511, the beautiful villa was expanded by the Corsini family when they acquired it in 1730. In 1883, the family donated its collections to Italy and formed the first national gallery of the country. Today, it houses works such as Caravaggio's St. John the Baptist and other masterpieces.
To locals and visitors alike, Rome seems like a huge masterpiece. Still, if you would like to experience a big piece of art for free, just head down to the Tiber River. There you'll find Triumphs and Laments. This mural by William Kentridge features 80 images of iconic moments in Rome's history.