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8 “small museums” of Rome with free admission

8 "piccoli musei" di Roma ad ingresso gratuito

8 museums in Rome are completely free of charge: Villa di Massenzio, Museo Barracco, Museo delle Mura, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Museo Napoleonico, Museo Pietro Canonica, Museo della Repubblica Romana e della memoria garibaldina, Museo di Casal de ’Pazzi.

From the evocative archaeological area of the Villa di Massenzio to the valuable sculptures preserved in the Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco nearby Piazza Navona. From the walkway, the towers and the stories contained in the Museo delle Mura, to the works of de Chirico, Severini, Warhol, Rivers and Manzù housed in the Museo Carlo Bilotti di Villa Borghese.

These are just some of the small venues with free admission, but other passions and curiosities can be satisfied by continuing to follow the most fascinating itineraries of the City.

For instance, the path that from the gardens of Villa Borghese leads to the House-Museum of the sculptor Pietro Canonica, immersed in the fin-de-siècle spirit, or the one for the history lovers, in the Museo Napoleonico with its the precious 19th century collections.


Carlo Bilotti is a museum of contemporary art based in the Villa Borghese Orangery. It houses paintings, sculptures and watercolors from the collection donated by the Italian-American entrepreneur and collector Carlo Bilotti, which includes works by Giorgio De Chirico, paintings by Gino Severini, Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers and a sculpture by Giacomo Manzù.

On the top of the Gianicolo Hill, theater of the tormented struggles of the Roman Republic in 1849, it is possible to relive those tragic days through the immersive narration of the Museo della Repubblica Romana e della memoria garibaldina.

The Villa di Massenzio, Emperor Maxentius’ residence, located between Mile II and Mile III of the Appian Way, is certainly one of the most extraordinary archaeological complexes of the Roman suburbs and includes a well preserved circus and the dynastic Mausoleum of Maxentius, also known as Tomb of Romulus from the name of the young son of the emperor who was presumably buried here.

Returning towards the city centre, at Porta San Sebastiano, the visit to the Museo delle Mura offers the opportunity to learn, with the help of models and didactic panels, the transformations of the Aurelian Walls through the centuries, but also the historical events and figures that took place and lived in these spaces. Extremely suggestive is the path inside the walkway and the towers rising every 30 meters.

An authentic new era is on display at the Museo di Casal de’ Pazzi, realized after the discovery of an elephant tusk in 1981 during the urbanization works in the Rebibbia area. An archaeological survey on an area of over 1,200 square meters brought to light an ancient riverbed. During the excavations more than 2,000 animal fossils were discovered, belonging to now extinct species such as the ancient elephant, the uro, the hippopotamus, the rhinoceros, but also a human skull fragment and over 1,500 flint artefacts that testify to the contemporary presence of men.

We return to the city centre with the Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco. On display, an extraordinary collection of ancient sculptures assembled between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th by Giovanni Barracco, a Calabrian baron. The museum hosts 400 works of art and high quality fragments of Egyptian, Assyrian, Cypriot, Etruscan, Greek and Roman origin, together with some examples of medieval art.

In addition to the  permanent collection, each museum hosts temporary exhibitions, often with a close connection to its specific features.

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