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Best History Museums in Rome

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Museo nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia

One of the most important collections of medieval and Renaissance art is housed at Museo di Palazzo Venezia. There are Renaissance paintings, painted wooden sculptures and chests from all over Italy, tapestries from elsewhere in Europe, Neapolitan ceramics, silverware, suits of armor, and 17th and 18t Century paintings. One of the most dramatic pieces is a 13th Century enameled Byzantine Christ. There are also terracotta studies by Bernini for construction of the Triton fountain and the decoration of Castel Sant'Angelo.

Rome, Italy
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Wax Museum

Linked to the famed Madame Tussaud's in London, the Museo delle Cere recreates historical scenes such as Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa surrounded by the Medici family and Machiavelli. Another scene shows Mussolini's last Cabinet meeting. There is of course a chamber of horrors with a garrotte, a gas chamber and an electric chair. The museum was built to replicate similar buildings in London and Paris. It is a must visit if one is ever in the city in order to take home some unforgettable memories.

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Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) are archeological and art museums located in Piazza Campidoglio at the top of Capitoline Hill. Michelangelo redesigned the buildings making generous use of giant order columns, a novelty at the time. The museums are made up of the Palazzo Senatorio, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino, and the Palazzo Nuovo, all linked by an underground gallery beneath the piazza. A massive collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian sculptures and artifacts are housed at the museums, in addition to more modern pieces. The 1st Century BCE Greco-Roman sculpture Lo Spinario, in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, is one of the collection's most impressive works.

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National Museum of Rome- Crypta Balbi

Lucio Cornelio Balbi was a decorated soldier who worked for both Julius Caesar and Ottavius Augustus. The long wars that he fought in Africa and elsewhere bought him fame and wealth, with which he built a theater in 14 BCE that stretched across the Tiber river. Today the ancient theater houses a part of Museo Nazionale Romano, that tells the events witnessed by the place and the glory of Lucio Cornelio Balbi. The major theme however remains display of the urban landscape from the ancient period to the present day. A lot of excavations were done in the area nearby bring back those bygone days. The excavators have divided their findings by plexiglass, and it displays the artifacts with details on how and where they found them. Although the remains of the theater are few, the major artifacts found here are utensils, pottery, coins and cutlery. An interesting discovery is the work tools and materials from a 7th Century workshop.

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Museo Tipologico Internazionale del Presepio "Angelo Stefanucci"

One of Italy's Christmas traditions; reproductions of the Holy Manger, is the basis of this collection. It contains not just Italian-made models, but examples from all over the world-from Kenya, Latin America, Ukraine and elsewhere. The figures are made from wood, terracotta, glass, papier-mâché and even coal. The museum was founded in 1967 and each year around October it arranges free courses on the techniques used in making these reproductions. The exhibition also includes collections of stamps, coins and medals on the same theme. Admission: Free.

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Fondazione Museo Roma

Created in 1999, this museum promotes social integration and inclusion. It has two spaces, one for temporary exhibitions and one for concerts, round tables and private events. The museum was initially called the Museo del Corso until it changed to its present name. The museum exhibits artwork ranging all the way from the 16th Century through modern, contemporary art. A variety of traveling exhibits exposes the people to history of other cultures along with the regional stories.

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Palatine Museum

Palatine Hill, which is one of the Seven Hills of the Eternal City, is an area of great historical interest. The Palatine Museum, or Museo Palatino as it is locally known, is a wonderful place to visit for those interested in this archaeological site. The museum is a storehouse of all kinds of artifacts dating back to when Palatine Hill was home to some of Ancient Rome's most affluent citizens. There are some majestic sculptures to be found, and if you're a smooth talker, you could even manage to convince the custodian to let you visit some of the historic villas nearby.

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National Museum of Rome- Palazzo Altemps

After 15 years of restoration, the Renaissance Palazzo Altemps has reopened. The lovely Ludovisi collection, at the Museo Nazionale Romano with many figures of mythological heroes can once more be admired. Much of the statuary is Roman but produced in Greek style. Some works are 2000 years old. The Ludovisi throne showing the birth of Venus is the most famous of the statues. The price of the ticket is inclusive of the other three sites of the Museo Nazionale Romano- the Baths of Diocletian, Crypta Balbi and Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.

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National Roman Museum

Housed in a Neo-Renaissance palace built at the end of 19th century, the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, you find one of the most important archeological collections in the world. All the sculptures, Roman coins and fragments of mosaics here at Museo Nazionale Romano are described in Italian and English. The four floors of the museum house spectacular statuary like Lancellotti Discobolus and the Maiden of Antium.

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Museo della Via Ostiense - Porta San Paolo

Porta San Paolo, which of utmost historical importance since 1954 is one of the must visit museums in Rome. The rooms are used to exhibit some of the important link material between Ostia and Rome consisting of prints, models, inscriptions, moulds and photographs. Admission is free for all. Call ahead for more details.

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The British School at Rome

The British School at Rome is one of the most sought after academies in the neighborhood of Centro Storico. This place gives a platform to all the researchers and artists to exhibit their work and enlighten people about the history and archeology of Italy. Their knowledge is promoted through exhibitions, seminars, lectures and art. You may also want to visit the library that maintains many facts and photographs that are of historical importance. For more information and events schedules, check out the website or call ahead.

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