The Italian capital is bursting with archaeological sites, churches and museums that let you dive into an amazing mix of ancient beauty and modern art. Here’s 10 of our absolute favorites from our Rome city guide, momondo places.
Rome and culture go together like spaghetti and meatballs. Whether you’re visiting for a Roman weekend city break, an entire week or longer, it takes a lifetime to explore the so-called Eternal City’s impressive 2800 years worth of history.
To help steer you in the right direction, here are our 10 tips of the best cultural experiences and spots for sightseeing in Rome, directly from our updated city guide, momondo places. Download it today – it’s free!
Nestled amid the greenery of Villa Borghese, the Galleria Borghese contains one of the world’s richest art collections. Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1557-1633) favored two artists in particular, both of whom turned out to be bright stars on the world’s art stage: sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini and painter Caravaggio.
At Galleria Borghese, both are amply represented with works demonstrating their formidable and legendary talent. You will also find other world famous works exhibited here: Antonio Canova’s marvelous sculpture, Venus Victrix. Quite unusually for its time, it depicts a half-naked Pauline Borghese.
When you visit the museum, don’t forget to look up at the magnificent ceilings. They have often been painted in the trompe-l’oeil technique that gives the observer a feeling of three-dimensionality. Note that booking is required.
Where: Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5
Tel: +39 06 84 13 979
San Luigi dei Francesi
Sixteenth-century San Luigi may be the French national church in Rome, but its main drawn is resoundingly Italian: visit the Contarelli chapel and marvel at vast canvasses by Baroque master of light and shadow, Caravaggio.
The three works show scenes from the life of St Matthew, with the characters in the paintings brilliantly illuminated to leap out from the gloom of the background and of the chapel itself. Flamboyant Caravaggio scandalized his patrons with depictions of biblical figures as unwashed commoners, and had to “clean up” his act before these works were hung.
With such an artistic feast, it’s easy to overlook San Luigi’s other treasure: Domenichino’s lovely St. Cecilia fresco cycle.
Where: Piazza di San Luigi de’ Francesi
Tel: +39 06 688271
Terme di Caracalla
The famous Baths of Caracalla were constructed by a cruel Emperor during the years 212-217 AD. The famous buildings contained swimming pools, gyms, sports facilities and baths. All sorts of baths could be found here, from the warm calidarium and the lukewarm tepidarium to the cold frigidarium.
For the residents of ancient Rome, this place had gigantic bathing areas with room for no less than 1,600 people at once. People from all walks of life frequented the baths and were served by an army of slaves. Only the rich, however, were allowed into the special massage facilities. This was, in other words, the fitness center of the past, and it was in operation for more than 300 years.
The party ended when the Goths invaded in 573, and later the Farnese family helped itself to the baths’ rich marble decorations.
Where: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52
Tel: +39 06 39 96 77 00
Read more: https://www.momondo.com/discover/article/sightseeing-in-rome-museums-churches-galleries