National Roman Museum

See four museums in one with a National Roman Museum ticket.

The National Roman Museum is considered the biggest and the most impressive museum of Greco-Roman art in the world. For those passionate about art and archeology, no tour of the Eternal City is complete without a visit to at least one of its branches.

Highlights

  • See a Michelangelo-designed cloister amidst the ruins of the biggest thermal complex of Ancient Rome.
  • View the best-preserved Roman frescoes in the world at the Palazzo Massimo.
  • Step into the past at Crypta Balbi and explore the archeological excavations of an entire Roman city block.

Tickets & Prices

Whether you wish to see all four branches of the museum, or only one has caught your interest, there’s an option for everyone. Buy online or at the ticket offices on one of the sites. Reservation is required for all tickets. 

Find out below which ticket is best suited to you.

Combined Ticket

This ticket provides access to all four of the National Roman Museums sites. It includes one entrance each for the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Altemps, and Crypta Balbi, and two entrances for Palazzo Massimo. Tickets are valid for one week.

  • Full Price: For non-EU citizens over the age of 18 and EU citizens over the age of 25.
  • Reduced Price: For EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 (with valid ID).
  • Free: For children under the age of 18; disabled visitors and one companion.

Palazzo Massimo Ticket

This ticket includes one entrance to Palazzo Massimo and any ongoing exhibition.

  • Full Price: For non-EU citizens over the age of 18 and EU citizens over the age of 25.
  • Reduced Price: For EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 (with valid ID).
  • Free: For children under the age of 18; disabled visitors and one companion.

Palazzo Altemps Ticket

This ticket includes one entrance to Palazzo Altemps and any ongoing exhibition.

  • Full Price: For non-EU citizens over the age of 18 and EU citizens over the age of 25.
  • Reduced Price: For EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 (with valid ID).
  • Free: For children under the age of 18; disabled visitors and one companion.

Crypta Balbi Ticket

This ticket includes one entrance to Crypta Balbi and any ongoing exhibition.

  • Full Price: For non-EU citizens over the age of 18 and EU citizens over the age of 25.
  • Reduced Price: For EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 (with valid ID).
  • Free: For children under the age of 18; disabled visitors and one companion.

Baths of Diocletian Ticket

This ticket includes one entrance to the Baths of Diocletian and any ongoing exhibition.

  • Full Price: For non-EU citizens over the age of 18 and EU citizens over the age of 25.
  • Reduced Price: For EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 (with valid ID).
  • Free: For children under the age of 18; disabled visitors and one companion.

What to see and do

Tickets for the National Roman Museum grant you access to the following sites:

Baths of Diocletian

The Baths of Diocletian, constructed between 298 and 306 CE, were commissioned by emperor Maximian in honor of his co-emperor, Diocletian. They were a monumental complex of thermal baths which included a caldarium, a tepidarium, a frigidarium, a natatio, two gigantic gymnasiums, and a series of large halls of varying purposes. They were abandoned in the 6th century due to damaged aqueducts caused by the Gothic War.

One thousand years later, in 1561, Pope Pius IV commissioned Michelangelo to construct a church and a charterhouse on the ruins of the ancient site. The church was dedicated to Our Lady of Angels and Christian Martyrs in remembrance of the Christians who died during the baths’ construction.

Today, as well as examining the church and charterhouse among the ruins of the baths, visitors can also enjoy exploring The Museum of Written Communication in the Roman World, which contains one of the richest collections of inscriptions in the world, and The Museum of the Protohistory of the Latin Peoples.

Palazzo Altemps

Initially erected during the 15th century by the Riario family and then renovated and decorated a century later by Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps, Palazzo Altemps was eventually purchased by the museum and opened up to the public in 1997.

The mansion is now home to an impressive number of Greek and Roman sculptures that belonged to several Roman noble families during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among them are the sculptural pieces belonging to the Altemps, Boncompagni Ludovisi, and Mattei collections. 

It’s also worth looking at the Egyptian collection and the archeological collection of Evan Gorga, an eccentric collector from the early 20th century. Other features of the building include a small incorporated church, the Church of San Aniceto, and a gorgeous three-storied courtyard.

Palazzo Massimo

Palazzo Massimo, inspired by 16th-century palaces, was built between 1883 and 1887 by orders of the Jesuit priest, Massimiliano Massimo, to house the new Jesuit school. It was acquired by the National Roman Museum in 1981, renovated, and finally opened to the public in 1998.

The different exhibitions of the palazzo are organized by theme and chronology and spread across the four floors of the building. The basement houses the museum’s Coin and Medal Collection; the ground floor and first floor are dedicated to Greek and Roman sculptures and reliefs; and the second floor, considered the highlight of the museum, contains the Gallery of Paintings and Mosaics.

Crypta Balbi

Crypta Balbi and the surrounding area are dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of a Roman city block that consisted of a theater with a crypt, a block of four apartments, and a patio. They were built between 19 and 13 BCE by Lucius Cornelius Balbus and then subsequently buried and lost in time until excavations started in 1981.

The upper floors house the museum, which displays objects from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, as well as the finds from the excavations. The real highlight, however, lies in the basement, which houses the archeological remains of the Balbus Theatre that can be explored on foot.

Directions

Although the four branches of the National Roman Museum have different locations, they are all located in the city center of Rome and are easily accessible by public transport.

Baths of Diocletian

Address: Via Enrico de Nicola, 78

Metro: Lines A or B – Termini

Bus: Lines 75, 16, 38, 66, 92, 223, 360, 492, or any other bus that stops at Termini.

Palazzo Altemps

Address: Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46

Bus: Lines 70, 81, 87, 186, 492, and 628

Palazzo Massimo

Address: Largo di Villa Peretti, 2

Metro: Lines A or B – Termini

Bus: Lines 16, 75, 360, 649, or any other bus that stops at Termini.

Crypta Balbi

Address: Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31

Bus: Lines 30, 40, 46, 62, 63, 64, 70, 81, 87, and H

Tram: Line 8 – Venezia

Did you know that: (3 Interesting Facts!)

  1. The Baths of Diocletian complex covered an area of 13 hectares and could accommodate up to 3,000 people at a time.
  2. Michelangelo was 86 years old when he received the commission to design the Church and Charterhouse of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He would never live to see them all completed, as he died three years later.
  3. Although Crypta Balbi was discovered in 1981, it took 20 years of excavations and restoration work before it was ready to be opened to the public in the year 2000.

History

  • After Rome became the capital of Italy in 1870 and numerous new ruins and works were found during the excavations made to expand the city, a call for the creation of a ‘Museum of Antiquities in the Capital of the Kingdom’ was set in motion.
  • Almost two decades later, in 1889, The National Roman Museum (Museo Nazionale Romano) was finally founded and inaugurated a year later.
  • The museum initially occupied a small section of the Baths of Diocletian complex. The majority of its early collection was formed from the pre-existing collections of the Kircherian museum, and the acquisition of works and collections from noble Roman families.
  • In 1911, the Great Archeological Exhibition which was part of the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy celebrations was held in the Baths of Diocletian. This decision allowed for the site to be readapted back to its original function as an archeological site.
  • Thanks to the passing of a Special Law for Roman Antiquities in 1981, the museum was able to acquire three new sites, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, and the city block making up the Crypta Balbi.
  • During the 1990s the museum collections were reorganized and divided into the four different branches, each with its own specific focus.
  • In 2016, the museum was declared an institution of significant national interest and was endowed with special autonomy.
  • Today, the National Roman Museum is regarded as one of the world’s greatest museums of ancient Greco-Roman art and its branches continue to be sites of archeological importance for the city of Rome.
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme map

Address: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Largo di Villa Peretti 2, 00185 Roma, Italy · view larger map

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