Today is International Museum Day 2017, and to celebrate, we’ve taken a look at the top museums in Italy to tick off on your next visit…
Originally published May 2015.
Italy is rich in history and culture, and offers visitors a wealth of museums. Museums showcasing priceless works and artefacts are all across the country, and just waiting to be discovered. Read our guide to our favourite museums in Italy.
Galleria degli Uffizi – Florence
The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence is one of the most renowned museum in Italy, and the world. The Uffizi is housed in a huge 16th-century palace and is home to a stunning collection of art works, by many of Italy’s Renaissance masters, including Caravaggio, Rembrant, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Egyptian Museum of Turin – Turin
The Egyptian Museum in Turin is one of the world’s best Egyptian museums. It is the only other museum in the world that is dedicated to Egyptian art and culture, other than the Cairo Museum, and is the oldest. The museum houses the work of one of history’s most important scholars, Jean-Francois Champollion, decipherer of the Rosetta Stone.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection – Venice
One of Italy’s top museums for contemporary art, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection showcases masterpieces from 20th-century artists, including Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso. Located in Venice, the collection is displayed in an 18th-centry palazzo, the former Grand Canal home of Peggy.
Gallery Brera – Milan
The Brera Art Gallery was originally created to help the students of the city’s Academy of Fine Arts with their studies, but today, the museum is now one of the country’s top cultural institutions. In the museum you will see a large number of Renaissance paintings, by renowned artists such as Titan Mantegna and Tintoretto. The museum has a great collection of antique and modern masterpieces, dating back to the 20th century.
Vatican Museums – Vatican City
Arguably the most famous of all of Italy’s museums, and one of the must-see attractions in Rome, the museums offer a variety of artworks from Egyptian and Roman antiquities to Renaissance paintings. Tour the museums but ensure you visit the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s most famous frescoes. The famous chapel contains the artist’s painted ceiling, considered one of his greatest achievements.
Galleria Borghese – Rome
The Borghese Gallery is located in the Borghese Gardens, in the former 17th-century Villa Borghese Pinciana. Split into two sections, the ground floor displays sculptures by renowned Bernini, and upstairs showcases a collection of Renaissance paintings by Caravaggio, Titian and Raphael. This small museum offers entry by reservation only, so there are minimal queues and crowding.
National Archaeological Museum – Naples
Home to an array of Greek and Roman antiquities, the highlights of this museum are the collection of objects that came from the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Its collection is in fact one of the biggest in the world. Other highlights are the statues of Aphrodite, Venus, Hercules, and the renowned Doryphoros (Spearman).
Have you visited any of Italy’s museums? Where do you think is worth a visit?