Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Roma, Largo di Villa Peretti 1

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Cooperativa IL SOGNO
Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
Tel. 06/85.30.17.58 - Fax 06/85.30.17.56
Email: service@romeguide.it

Share The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme holds collections of Ancient Roman works of art, coins and jewellery belonging to the Museo Nazionale Romano which were previously displayed in the Museum's Terme di Diocleziano complex.

The transformation of Palazzo Massimo into a museum began in 1981, thanks to a grant made by the Italian Government for the preservation of Ancient Roman artefacts and works of art. The late 19th-century palace, built by Camillo Pistrucci for Prince Massimiliano Massimo on the site of the Renaissance Palazzo Peretti-Montalto, served previously a college run by the Jesuits. The growth of the collections and pressing need for a more comprehensive way to narrate the history of excavations in Rome using the ancient artefacts themselves led to the decision to distribute the collections of the Museo Nazionale Romano among various sites including Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, The Cripta di Balbo, and a building alongside the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Organisation and description of the exhibit:

The exhibition is distributed over three floors of the Palazzo Massimo. In the basement are located the Numismatic and Jewellery collection, while the first and second floors contain the museum's many fine ancient works of art.

The Numismatic collection consist of collections previously kept in private hands (those of the Museo Kircheriano, Francesco Gnecchi and King Victor Emanuel III of Italy) and coins from the most important discoveries of coin hoards (in a literal sense "buried treasure") discovered in Rome and the surrounding Latium region. The exhibit illustrates the story of money, from its origins to its function in modern times, describing the complicated social, political and economic aspects of coinage.

Adjoining the large hall dedicated to the coin collections are display cases containing pieces of jewellery discovered in ancient burial grounds in Rome and its suburbs, which illustrate the history and evolution of fashion and costume in the Roman Empire.

The collection of ancient works of art, covering the first and second floors of the palace, include many celebrated examples of Roman art dating from the late Republican period to the end of the Roman Empire, as well as several original Greek works discovered during excavations in the Gardens of Sallust.

On the ground floor, a rich display of portraits, enhanced by mosaics, inscriptions and sculptures, document of two eras which revolutionised Roman society the first occurring after the conquest of Greece and the second during the transformation of the Roman State from Republic to a great Mediterranean empire. On the first floor, several well-known quotations taken from ancient texts describe Roman taste for certain styles and schools of art. This helps the viewer understand above all the design and decoration of great Roman imperial building complexes such as Hadrian's Villa and the Golden House of Nero.

The Roman's love for luxury goods designed to evoke the legendary splendour of the Hellenistic courts is demonstrated by the collection of bronze ornaments from the Emperor Caligula's great pleasure barges kept in ancient times on Lake Nemi close to Rome and excavated from that lake's depths in the early 20th century.

Other unique objects, including the Portonaccio Sarcophagus, the Sarcophagus of the Muses and an extensive series of family portraits from various imperial dynasties, reveal the marked changes in the content and style of Roman artistic production during the period of Late Antiquity, mirroring the troubled state of the empire during its slow demise.

The palace's second floor is reserved for the exhibit of important Roman sculptures, mosaics and pictures from ancient villas in Rome and its environs. Deserving of special mention in this collection are the frescoes and stucco-designs from a Roman villa found on the grounds of the villa Farnesina on the via Lungara. These are very complete examples of the refined and classical-taste of the Augustan Age (early first century AD). Another outstanding work in the collection is the barrel-valued chamber containing the frescoes from an underground room of Livia's villa at Prima Porta, which are among the best conserved illustrations of an ancient Roman garden.

© Pierreci

Palazzo Massimo was built at the end of the nineteenth century as the part of a college. Today it forms part of the National Roman Museum. Exhibits are spread across four floors of the palace. On the ground floor is the Numismatic Section which holds fascinating examples of coinage and monetary systems from their origins in the eighth century B.C. to the introduction of the Euro. Included here are also several gems, jewels and jewellery of the Savoia collection and the section of Oreficeria, most of which served as funerary items. Among these is the mummified ‘Bambina di Grottarossa', a child found together with its doll. On the other three floors various works of art representing a broad range of classical sculpture are exhibited. These include a statue of Augustus, various Roman copies of Greek statues such as those as the famous ‘Discobolo Lancellotti', a sleeping Hermaphrodite, Venus about to take a bath, and Apollo which was copied from a fifth century B.C. Greek original in the workshops of Fidia. There is also a section of interesting bronzes. The final floor is dedicated to a wonderful collection of frescoes and mosaics, among them those of the triclinium of the villa of Livia and those of the villa Farnesina. Together these exhibits represent the themes and styles which existed from the first century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. and come from various locations around the city of Rome. Among the most interesting of these is a marbles in laid work representing the Sun God.

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Info and reservation :

Cooperativa IL SOGNO
Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
Tel. 06/85.30.17.58 - Fax 06/85.30.17.56
Email: service@romeguide.it

TICKETS Timetables: 

Opening hours from 9 am to 7:45 pm (December 24 and 31 from 9 am to 5 pm).
Closed Monday (except Easter Monday and during the Cultural Heritage Week), January 1, May 1, December 25.
Ticket office closes one hour before Museum closing time. 

MUSEO NAZIONALE ROMANO valid 3 days for Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Terme di Diocleziano:
ADULTS € 7,00 + 3,00 (for exhibitions) + agency fees
REDUCED FEE € 3,50 + 3,00 (for exhibitions) + agency fees for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old
FREE ENTRANCE for persons under 18 or over 65 years old from European Union

ARCHAEOLOGIA CARD valid 7 days for Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Terme di Diocleziano, Colosseo, Foro Romano and Palatino, Terme di Caracalla, Villa dei Quintili, Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella:
ADULTS € 20,00 + € 2,00 (for exhibitions) + agency fees
REDUCED FEE € 10,00 + € 2,00 (for exhibitions) + agency fees
ROMA PASS the site is included in the Roma Pass circuit
GUIDED TOURS
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Info and reservation :

Cooperativa IL SOGNO
Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
Tel. 06/85.30.17.58 - Fax 06/85.30.17.56
Email: service@romeguide.it

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back to top

Info and reservation :

Cooperativa IL SOGNO
Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
Tel. 06/85.30.17.58 - Fax 06/85.30.17.56
Email: service@romeguide.it