If you follow me on Instagram you already know about my short trip to Rome, not a leisure trip but a studies excursion with students focusing on art and history.
If you’ve been to Rome before or even if you haven’t been you probably know that attractions in Rome are basically endless. There are so many “must see’s” that you can easily feel overwhelmed… the masses of tourists do their part as well.
Here is a short overview to some other perspectives of and on Rome, some places off the beaten track that I think are worth a visit, besides the spots you already know or have heard about.
Museum Centrale Montemartini
It was intended as a temporary solution when in 1997 there was created an exhibition of ancient Roman sculptures in the former Giovanni Montemartini Thermoelectric Centre. The Museio Capitolini needed storage space for their artefacts and found an abandoned industrial site in Rome’s south. Someone eventually realized that this actually was much more than a good inventory, but a great place for permanently exhibiting artifacts, bringing together ancient sculptures and mosaics with industrial archaelogy. Since 2005 the museum with its contrasty setting can be visited. Few Rome tourists find their way to Montemartini yet, so if you found the visits of the Vatican or the Capitolian Museums rather stressful, this is the place where you really study the exhibitions unhurriedly. A great experience! (Metro B, stop Garbatella)
A bit further outside lies the EUR quarter of which you probably haven’t heard before.
Planned from the drawing board by the fascist Italian government under Mussolini it was intended to host the Esposizione Universale di Roma, a World Exhibition in 1942. It never did – World War II prevented the opening. Nevertheless it is a lesson in fascist modern architecture that tries to connect to an imperial Roman heritage in adapting f.ex. ancient colonnades or even the iconic Colloseum and at the same time translating them into modern architecture of the 30s that feels impressive and oppressive at the same time. (Metro B, stop EUR Pallasport or EUR Fermi, bus no. 30)
A totally different style of architecture is found in the Quartiere Coppedè – although a planned quarter as well.
Between 1913 and 1926 Gino Coppedè fulfilled here his dream of a phantastic playful place. Although he couldn’t finish all his plans the eclectic mix of this quarter, which pairs Jugendstil with baroque, arab or medieval influences, is fascinating in his own way and carries you away into a totally different, magical Rome. Nowadays the quarter is one of the richest of Rome and hosts a lots of embassies that you can discover. (near Piazza Buenos Aires, from there bus no. 92 or 223)
Impressing from the outside (yes, I forgot to take pictures!) and the inside is the National Contemporary Art Museum MAXXI. Build by Zaha Hadid the building itself is a fascinating sight to visit. The exhibitions didn’t disappoint as well. A good place to spend an afternoon if you feel just a bit overwhelmed by all the ancient temples, Renaissance paintings, baroque fountains and churches. (Metro A, stop Flaminio, then tram no., 2 stop Apollodoro)