Palazzo Massimo alle Terme Museum Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Largo di Villa Peretti, 1 – Rome (tel. +39 06 39967700 (Coopculture, for reservations) or 06 480201 (the museum itself)). Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 09.00 till 19.45. Closed: Mondays, January 1, December 25. Admission: 10 Euros; EU citizens age 18-25: 5 Euros; age 0-17: Free. Combi-ticket Palazzo Massimo, Terme di Diocleziano, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps: 12 Euros; EU citizens age 18-25: 10 Euros; age 0-17: free. There maybe a surcharge in case of special exhibitions. The museum is free for everybody on the first Sunday of every month.
History and description
The exhibition is spread out over the four floors of the Palazzo Massimo.
The basement houses the jewelry and coin collections. The numismatic exhibition has put together the collections of the former Kircherian Museum, plus the Victor Emanuel III and Gnecchi collections. The gems in the jewelry collection were found in various funerary trusseaus found in and around Rome.
The remaining three floors are dedicated to Ancient Roman and Greek Art, often found where the nearby Gardens of Sallust (Horti Sallustiani) used to be. The period spanned reaches from the Republican to the Late Imperial Age.
The ground floor exhibits portraits and busts of important classical persons, including two famous bronzes originally decorating the Octagonal Hall of the Baths of Diocletian. These statues are known as the “Pugilist at Rest” and the “Hellenistic Prince”. The latter, although probably created by a Greek sculptor, was most likely in reality a Roman general.
The first floor shows art found in the imperial country houses of e.g. Nero and Hadrian. There are sarcophagi and one hall is dedicated to Roman as well as Greek sculptural masterworks.
The second floor exhibits paintings and mosaics that were found in and around Rome, like the Villa Romana della Farnesina in the Via della Lungara. There is an interesting panel from the Mithreum of Santa Prisca and there are frescoes from Livia’s country-house at Prima Porta.
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme was constructed between 1883 and 1886. The architect Camillo Pistrucci was responsible for the design and the building was commissioned by the Jesuit clergyman Massimiliano Massimo, on a terrain belonging to the family Massimo.
In order to build the Palazzo Massimo, the already existing Palazzo Peretti (also called Palazzo Sistino, since it belonged to Pope Sisto V) had to be demolished. This palazzo, a part of the Villa Peretti Montalto, had been created by Domenico Fontana at the end of the 16th century. The villa was completely demolished in order to create space for the construction of the central railway station.
Palazzo Massimo started its life as a Jesuit college, called Istituto Massimiliano Massimo. In 1960 the Institute was transferred to the EUR district and in 1981 the Palazzo Massimo was acquired by the Italian state. In 1992 it got its present function.