Museums in Italy

Museo Correr

The Museo Correr has rich and varied collections of art and history of Venice. The Museo Correr originated with the collection bequeathed to the city of Venice in 1830 by Teodoro Correr. A member of a traditional Venetian family, Correr was a meticulous and passionate collector, dedicating most of his life to the collection of both works of art and documents or individual objects that reflected the history of Venice. Up ...
Founded: 1830 | Location: Venice, Italy

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) are a single museum containing a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill. The historic seats of the museums are Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo, facing on the central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and executed over a period of more than 400 years. The history of the muse ...
Founded: 1734 | Location: Rome, Italy

Museo Barracco di Scultura Antica

Museo Barracco di Scultura Antica is a museum in Rome, featuring a collection of works acquired by the collector Giovanni Barracco, who donated his collection to the City of Rome in 1902. Among the works are Egyptian, Assyrian, and Phoenician art, as well as Greek sculptures of the classical period. The 400 works of the collection are divided according to the civilization and are displayed in nine rooms, on the f ...
Founded: 1948 | Location: Rome, Italy

Diocesan Museum

The Diocesan museum of Genoa is located is found inside the old residence of the canons of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and is accessible through the cloister of San Lorenzo. The cloister, built in the 12th century, is characterized by two levels of arches resting on double Romanesque columns with leaved capitals. In the 17th century two sides of the building were modified, with the double columns substituted with heavy p ...
Founded: 2000 | Location: Genoa, Italy

Gallerie dell'Accademia

The Gallerie dell'Accademia is a museum gallery of pre-19th-century art in Venice. The former Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia was founded in 1750. In 1807 the academy was re-founded by Napoleonic decree and moved to the Palladian complex of the Scuola della Carità, where the Gallerie dell'Accademia are still housed. The collections of the Accademia were first opened to the public in 1817. The Gallerie dell’Accadem ...
Founded: 1750 | Location: Venice, Italy

Jewish Museum of Rome

The Jewish Museum of Rome is situated in the basement of the Great Synagogue of Rome and offers both information on the Jewish presence in Rome since the second century BCE and a large collection of works of art produced by the Jewish community. Following the unification of Italy in 1870, the Jews were granted citizenship of Italy. As a result of agreement between the Jewish Community and the city authorities the Roman G ...
Founded: 1960 | Location: Rome, Italy

Arsenal Of The Maritime Republic

The structure of the arsenal consists of two large stone-built halls with vaulting supported by repeated pointed arches. The vaulting rests on ten piers, originally there were twenty two, the missing twelve and the structure they supported having been lost to centuries of coastal erosion. The main function of the arsenal was the building, repair and storage of warships. Amalfitan war-galleys were among the largest to be f ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Amalfi, Italy

Gallerie di Piazza Scala

The Gallerie di Piazza Scala is a modern and contemporary museum in Milan. Located in Piazza della Scala in the Palazzo Brentani and the Palazzo Anguissola, it hosts 195 artworks from the collections of Fondazione Cariplo with a strong representation of nineteenth century Lombard painters and sculptors, including Antonio Canova and Umberto Boccioni. A new section was opened in the Palazzo della Banca Commerci ...
Founded: 2011 | Location: Milan, Italy

Galleria Spada

The Galleria Spada is a museum in Rome, which is housed in the Palazzo Spada of the same name. The palazzo is also famous for its façade and for the forced perspective gallery by Francesco Borromini. The gallery exhibits paintings from the 16th and 17th century. he Galleria was opened in 1927 in the Palazzo Spada. It closed during the 1940s, but reopened in 1951 thanks to the efforts of the Conservator of the Galleries ...
Founded: 1927 | Location: Rome, Italy

Ara Pacis

The Ara Pacis Augustae ('Altar of Augustan Peace') is an altar in Rome dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace. The monument was commissioned by the Roman Senate on July 4, 13 BC to honor the return of Augustus to Rome after three years in Hispania and Gaul and consecrated on January 30, 9 BC. Originally located on the northern outskirts of Rome, a Roman mile from the boundary of the pomerium on the west si ...
Founded: 13 BCE | Location: Rome, Italy

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is an important Italian archaeological museum, particularly for ancient Roman remains. Its collection includes works from Greek, Roman and Renaissance times, and especially Roman artifacts from nearby Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum. The building was built as a cavalry barracks in 1585. From 1616 to 1777 it was the seat of the University of Naples. During the 19th ...
Founded: 1777 | Location: Naples, Italy

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica

The Galleria Nazionale d"Arte Antica (GNAA), or National Gallery of Ancient Art, is the main national collection of older (broadly, pre-1800) paintings in Rome. It has two sites: the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Corsini. The Palazzo Barberini was designed for Pope Urban VIII, a member of the Barberini family, by 16th century Italian architect Carlo Maderno on the old location of Villa Sforza. Its centra ...
Founded: 1893 | Location: Rome, Italy

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

The National Roman Museum is a museum with several branches in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme houses part of the National Roman Museum, one of the world’s greatest collections of ancient art. It provides a magnificent showcase for some of the most beautiful paintings, mosaics and sculptures of the Roman age. One room is devoted to the mummy that was found in 1964 on the Via ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Rome, Italy

Pinacoteca di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is the main public gallery for paintings in Milan. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. The convent on the site passed to the Jesuits (1572), then underwent a radical rebuilding by Francesco Maria Richini (1627–28). When the Jesuits were disbanded in 1773, the palazzo remained the seat of the astronomical Observatory and the Braidense National Library foun ...
Founded: 1776 | Location: Milan, Italy

Galleria Borghese

The Galleria Borghese is an art gallery housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. At the outset, the gallery building is integrated with its gardens. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V (reign 1605-1621). The Villa was built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Rome, Italy

Archaeological Museum of Finale

The Archaeological Museum of Finale, recently reorganized in the Monumental Complex of Santa Caterina in Finalborgo, is managed since 1931 by the Institute of Ligurian Studies International. The exhibition, through archaeological finds, reconstructions, dioramas and scenic settings, allows you to discover the features of the Finale from prehistoric times until today.
Founded: 1931 | Location: Finale Ligure, Italy

Bellomo Palace Regional Gallery

Bellomo Palace Regional Gallery is situated in the premises of Bellomo Palace. The origins of the palace have been traced to the 12th century, the time of Hohenstaufen rule of Sicily. The palace still features a number of unusually well-preserved elements from this time. The main facade, as well as the basement and ground floor, still essentially retain the 12th-century appearance of the building. Alterations were made i ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Syracuse, Italy

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna

The Galleria Nazionale d"Arte Moderna e Contemporanea was founded in 1883 on the initiative of the then Minister Guido Baccelli and is dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The present building, the Palazzo delle Belle Arti (Palace of Fine Arts) was designed by prominent Italian architect Cesare Bazzani. It was completed between 1911 and 1915. The facade features exterior architectural friezes by sculptors Ermen ...
Founded: 1883 | Location: Rome, Italy

Murano Glass Museum

The Murano Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) represents the the history of famous local Murano glass. The palace was the residence of the bishops of Torcello. It was originally built in the Gothic style as a patrician"s palace. The building became the residence of Bishop Marco Giustinian in 1659. He later bought it and donated it to the Torcello diocese. The Glass Museum was founded in 1861. The collection of the mus ...
Founded: 1861 | Location: Venice, Italy

Palazzo Abatellis

Palazzo Abatellis is home to the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, the Gallery of Art for the Sicilian region. The palazzo, an example of Gothic-Catalan architecture, was designed in the 15th century by Matteo Carnelivari, at the time working in Palermo at the palazzo Aiutamicristo. It was the residence of Francesco Abatellis (or Patella), port master of the Kingdom of Sicily. The regional gallery is home to many ...
Founded: 1954 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.