The museum system
The museum system run by Rome City Council comprises an extremely diverse group of museums and archaeological sites of undoubted artistic and historic value. In addition to the Musei Capitolini - the world’s oldest public museum - the system also encompasses the Museo dell’Ara Pacis, designed by Richard Meier and home to various important exhibitions. others include Mercati di Traiano, with the Museo dei Fori Imperiali, as well as the Planetario and the Museo Astronomico that are the ideal destination for anyone interested in the new frontiers of science.
The system is further enriched by several “hidden” gems - small museums with prized collections such as the Museo Napoleonico, the Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco, the Museo Carlo Bilotti, the Museo Pietro Canonica, the Museo delle Mura and others still - all waiting to be discovered. Numerous events and temporary exhibitions help make the System of Municipal Museums unique amongst other museum networks in Italy, providing a constant stream of initiatives that are always original and guaranteed to appeal to all sections of the public.
The foundation of the most ancient publicly owned museums in the world dates back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a group of bronze statues, previously housed in the Lateran, to the people of Rome. There are two buildings - the Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo –which, along with the Palazzo Senatorio, mark the limits of Piazza del Campidoglio.