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Art and History in Rome

Art and History in Rome
04 March 2017 0 Comment

The truth is you can spend a lifetime in Rome and still only scratch the surface of the great art and history this remarkable city has to offer.

Is there another city in the world so stepped in history that has produced art known around the world; displayed it seems on every street corner and making a visit to Rome almost overwhelming? Rome’s never ending story encompasses several key periods of western history from Republic and Imperial Rome, to the emergence of Christianity that morphs into Catholicism by the 5th century A.D. and all the great periods of western art that define our culture and history. Add to that mix the characters of Medieval Rome including Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena and push forward to the Renaissance with major players like Pope Julius II, Michelangelo, Bramante, Leonardo and Raphael and then top off this mind boggling CV of history, art, personalities and events with the Baroque and names like Bernini, Caravaggio and Pope Urban VIII; is it any wonder your head starts spinning when in Rome!

However your visit needs to begin somewhere and if like me you like to get away from the maddening crowds that daily storm the Vatican Museums, then consider visiting what I consider to be Rome’s most remarkable group of museums that come under the name of the Museo Nazionale Romano. It’s a great selection of locations that include the Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, the Terme di Diocleziano and the Balbi Crypts. You can purchase a ticket at any of these four locations that is valid for three days and gives you entrance to these great museums for only 7 euros. That must be the best deal in town!

If your time does not permit you to visit all four museums I insist you do visit Palazzo Altemps and the superb Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. I was invited to this museum when it first opened and I’m still its biggest fan. It’s never crowded, and there is a great display of magnificent objects and statues, mostly from the period of Augustus; and inside is my man, the 3rd century B.C. bronze called The Boxer. Stand in front of him and feel his exhaustion and pain as he sits on a rock bleeding from the cuts above his eye and on his arms. Swelling is forming over the right eye and his nose has taken yet another battering. You can almost hear him say in bitter tones, “there must be another way to make a living?” and all this emotion and pathos is made of cast bronze!

He speaks to you across the centuries and he alone, to my way of thinking, is worth a visit to Rome!

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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