Modern & Contemporary Art in Rome
Maxxi – National Museum of Contemporary Art and Architecture
Via Guido Reni 4/a (Flaminio), Full Price Admission 12€
Closed Mondays; Open Tues – Sun 11am-7pm; Sat 11am – 10pm
This extraordinary National Gallery of 21st century art was designed by Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, whose unique design makes the museum well-worth a visit, regardless of the exhibit, as its curving walls and unexpected configurations make it a real treat to get lost in. The gift shop slash café, both spacious and modern, offers scrumptious snacks and quirky souvenirs. In the evenings you’ll find local families passing time outside in the “concrete garden” – parents sipping prosseco while their kids play.
MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art – Via Nizza
Via Nizza 138 (Parioli), Full Price Admission 10€
Closed Mondays; Tues-Sun 10:30am – 7pm
MACRO is a super modern space with unique architecture, an extensive gift shop, and an elegant café. This jumbo museum splits into separate buildings and, therefore, has a lot of space to cover. The gallery is best enjoyed when temporary exhibits are in full swing; otherwise, you risk finding a lot of empty space. 2017 exhibits included Anish Kapur and an elaborate tribute to street art called “Cross the Streets” which featured works by street artists like Obey, Ron English, and Sten & Lex.
Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4 (Testaccio), Full Price Admission 6€
Open only during exhibitions : Closed Mondays; Tues – Sun 2pm-8pm
MACRO Testaccio, a smaller branch of its more central Via Nizza location, is settled in the unique location of a revamped slaughterhouse. Admission cost is cheaper but the gallery is only open when an exhibit is taking place. The surrounding area of Ostiense is modern, young, and colorful, as it has been decorated with a number of murals. The neighborhood itself could be explored as a bit of an open-air museum itself for street art fans.
Galleria Nazionale d’ Arte Moderna
Viale delle Belle Arti 131 (Parioli), Full Price Admission 10€
Closed Mondays; Tues – Sun 8:30am – 7:30pm
Located on the edge of the beautiful Borghese Gardens, The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (or GNAM for short) has a more old-fashioned feel to its appearance and structure, but always presents a stunning variety of art, with a mix of modern photographs, contemporary paintings, and neoclassical sculptures. Many scenes of “John Wick 2” were filmed inside of this gallery in 2016. The current exhibit “Time is Out of Joint”, featuring a commendable collection of works by artists including Canova, Duchamp, Klimt, Modigliani, and even Van Gogh, will continue until April 2018.
Palazzo delle Esposizioni
Via Nazionale 194 (Historic Center), Full Price Admission 12.50€
Closed Mondays: Tues – Thurs 10am – 8pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 10:30pm; Sun 10am – 8pm
Located between Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Venezia, this gallery stands tall and offers a wide variety of exhibits. While some are better than others, or better suited to particular tastes, the space is large and the organization is not afraid to put on a grand exhibit. Some recent highlights include David LaChappelle’s “After the Deluge” collection, exhibited in 2015, which featured over 100 full-sized and very controversial works and Botero’s “Passion of the Christ” in 2016. The museum targets a wide array of interests with some exhibits focused more so on science or even virtual experiences.
Chiostro del Bramante
Arco della Pace 5 (Historic Center), Full Price Admission 14.50€
Open Daily; Mon – Fri 10am – 8pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 9pm
The cloister, designed by Donato Bramante in 1500, was renovated around the turn of the century to make space for art and culture events. The unique location offers a gorgeous atmosphere for exhibits and more, as the central courtyard, café, and bookshop are all free to enter and browse through. It’s a tighter space than the more modern museums, so we recommend checking it out during slower hours (think mornings and weekdays). Some recent exhibits have proven to be quite successful, such as the sizeable collection of works by New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat displayed in 2017, staking the chiostro’s claim to a spot on our list.
Complesso del Vittoriano ala Brasini
Via di San Pietro in Carcere (Historic Center), Full Price Admission 15€
Mon – Thurs 9:30am – 7:30pm; Fri & Sat 9:30am – 10pm; Sun 9:30am – 8:30pm
This vast gallery is tucked away into the side of the Altare della Patria, or Victor Emanuel Monument, which dominates Piazza Venezia. It’s very central and very big, although some exhibits are bigger than others. In 2016, it hosted a grand exhibit dedicated to the art-nouveau master Alphonse Mucha. 2017 offered a close up look at the works of Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. Currently, 60 paintings by famous French painter Claude Monet are being showcased until February 11, 2018.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to modern and contemporary art museums! Please remember that some exhibits are better than others, some exhibits are bigger than others, and some exhibits are better suited to you than others! Please check the linked websites for information about current exhibits. Hours and ticket prices should also be double-checked, as they are also liable to change, especially for holidays and special exhibits. We hope you enjoy your art explorations in Rome! If you are interested in discovering The Vatican Museums or the Borghese Galleries, check out our five-star tours!
Author: April Nicole
April is an American writer and photographer who has lived in Rome since 2013. She enjoys exploring the museums of the city, as well as indulging in authentic Italian cuisine!
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