Rome‘s Museo di Roma – Palazzo Braschi is housed in a building that has the facade on Piazza Navona, although the entrance is at Piazza San Pantaleo. The palazzo is, since 1952, the seat of the Museo di Roma (Rome’s Civic Museum). It houses both a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
Museo di Roma – Palazzo Braschi Museum Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Palazzo Braschi is Piazza Navona, 2 – Rome. The main entrance is in Piazza San Pantaleo, 10 – 00186 Roma (tel. +39 060608 for information and reservations). It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. On 24 and 31 December the opening hours are from 10.00 to 14.00 hours. Closed on Monday; closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. The entrance fee is 9,50 Euro. (Discount: 7,50 Euro). A combi-ticket with the Museo Barracco is 11 Euro. Free for children under 6. For special exhibitions, prices may be slightly higher. The Roma Pass is valid. On the first Sunday of the month, the museum is free for residents. There is a surcharge for bigger exhibitions.
The palazzo was designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli, who had been commissioned to do so by Luigi Braschi Onesti. Luigi had managed to use the influence of his uncle, Pope Pius VI, in order to acquire the wealth and privileges needed to be able to have the building constructed.
Before the Palazzo Braschi was constructed a 15th building belonging to the Orsini family stood in the same site. A number of cardinals lived there, before the building was bought by the Orsini‘s again (end of the 17th century). They adorned the palazzo with a number of art works and then sold it to Prince Caracciolo di Santobono who, in turn, sold it to the Braschi Onesti family.
A year after they bought it, in 1791, the Braschi had the building destroyed and gave Morelli the task of rebuilding it. Work was interrupted for 4 years because of the French occupation (1798-1802).
The monumental stairs and Valadier‘s chapel on the first floor were finished in 1804.
When the Braschi Onesti‘s got into financial trouble, they sold the palazzo to the Italian State. For a while it was the seat of the Ministry of the Interior. Under Mussolini fascist institutions took up residence and from the end of the war until 1949 three hundred homeless families were put up in the building. Unfortunately, theft and the lighting of fires caused damage to the frescoes and floors of the building.
Highlights permanent exhibition
The Museo di Roma has a huge collection of more than one hundred thousand paintings, drawings, etchings, photographs, sculptures, furniture and chasms, ceramics and even entire carriages. Of course, these cannot all be exhibited at the same time, so even the permanent exhibition is subject to rotation.
The richly decorated carriage in the entrance hall is one of two carriages Sigismondo Chigi had made for his second marriage to Giovanna Medici D’Ottajano in 1776. The decorations on the carriage refer to the symbols of the Chigi family. After the unification of Italy, the carriage was often used for parades.
A special feature is the collection of 19th century photographs showing typical Roman street scenes from that period.
The walls of some of the rooms are decorated with tempera paintings from the end of the 18th and the early 19th century.
Another highlight is the monumental staircase, in the design of which the famous architect Valadier was involved.