The overlooked museum of Rome

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Just across the road from the Bath of Diocletian close to the central station of Rome you find a fairly big museum. It is the Museo Nationale Romano and pretty much anywhere else in the world this would probably be the leading museum of the city. But here in Rome there are surprisingly few visitors to the museum which has huge crowds walking by to the nearby transportation hub at the Termini central station.

The museum is housed in an old Palazzio but the museum artefacts easily overshadow the building – which is less interesting than what you might think giving it is called a palace. When you go around you will see a very impressive collection of sculptures on the first floor which date back to the Roman Republic times and continuing up to the Imperial age. There aren’t any major renaissance pieces so you will miss the Michelangelo’s – but with so many ancient statues on display it doesn’t really matter.

On the second floor you find a really impressive collection of different mosaics and frescos from different Roman villas. The most famous of the villas was the Villa of Livia who was the wife of August. If you like Roman mosaics this exhibition is a real treat to go and visit.

If you want to see more after visiting the statues and the mosaics you can make you way to the basement which has a big exhibition of coins from different ages. My knowledge of numismatic collections is limited but I think this one is probably on a level which would impress most collectors of ancient coins.

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