Rome's free museums

Eight of Rome's city-run museums are open for free, all year round. The municipal museums, which are located in the city centre, the park of Villa Borghese and the suburbs, range from collections of art and sculpture to historical and house museums.

Museo Napoleonico
Museo Napoleonico
A collection of art works, clothes, furniture and heirlooms belonging to Napoleon and his family, including a portrait of the emperor by Jacques-Louis David. Entry to the permanent collection is free but there is a €1.50 charge for temporary exhibitions. Tues-Sun 10.00-18.00. Piazza di Ponte Umberto I 1, tel. 060608, website.
Museo Giovanni Barracco
Museo Giovanni Barracco. Photo Turismo Roma
This museum near Campo de' Fiori displays a magnificent collection of Egyptian, Assyrian, Cypriot, Phoenician, Etruscan, Greek and Roman sculpture, assembled by Giovanni Barracco. Tues-Sun (Oct-May) 10.00-16.00. Tues-Sun (June-Sept) 13.00-19.00. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 166, tel. 060608, website.
Museo Casal de' Pazzi  
Museo Casal de' Pazzi. Photo Roma dei Bambini
Museum containing the fossils and remains of prehistoric elephants, rhinos and aurochs, as well as traces of the first men who hunted the ancient creatures. The museum's origins date back to 1981 when construction workers discovered an elephant tusk on the site. Tues-Fri 09.00-14.00, Sat-Sun 10.00-14.00. Tues-Fri 09.00-14.00. Sat-Sun 10.00-14.00. Via Egidio Galbani 6, tel. 060608, website.
Villa di Massenzio 
Villa di Massenzio. Photo Un Ospite a Roma
This archaeological area, which incorporates a stretch of Via Appia, comprises three main buildings: the palace, the circus and the mausoleum designed to honour Emperor Maxentius, Constantine’s ill-fated adversary in the battle of Ponte Milvio in 312 AD. Tues-Sun 10.00-16.00. Via Appia Antica 153, tel. 060608, website
Museo della Repubblica Romana e della Memoria Garibaldina
Photo Il Messaggero
This museum tells the story of the short-lived Roman Republic, with archive documents and multimedia panels bringing to life the 1849 battle on the Janiculum hill between French troops and the soldiers of nationalist hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Tues-Fri 10.00-14.00. Sat-Sun 10.00-18.00. Mon closed. Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, tel. 060608, website.
Museo delle Mura 
Museo delle Mura. Photo Zètema.
The museum is located in Porta S. Sebastiano, one of the best preserved gates of the Aurelian Walls. A permanent exhibition retraces the history of the city fortifications with texts, drawings, photographs and models, as well as offering the chance to walk along the inside of the Aurelian Wall. Tues-Sun 09.00-14.00. Via di Porta San Sebastiano 18, tel. 060608, website
Museo Carlo Bilotti
Museo Carlo Bilotti
This museum in the orangery of Villa Borghese houses the collection of the Italian-born art-collector, Carlo Bilotti, and includes 18 works by Giorgio de Chirico as well as pieces by Warhol, Rotella and Manzù. Entry to the permanent collection is free but there is a €1.50 charge for temporary exhibitions. Mon closed. Opening hours vary considerably, check website for details. Viale Fiorello La Guardia, tel. 060608, website
Museo Pietro Canonica 
Museo Pietro Canonica. Photo Turismo Roma.
This charming museum houses the art collection, private apartment and studio of the Italian sculptor and musician Pietro Canonica who died in 1959. Open Oct-May 10.00-16.00. June-Sept 13.00-19.00. Mon closed. Viale Pietro Canonica 2 (Villa Borghese), tel. 060608, websiteFor comprehensive list of Rome's state and city museums and archaeological sites, see Wanted in Rome's guide.
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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