Centrale Montemartini

When I tell someone that I’ve been to Rome over fifteen times and even lived there, they seem suprised when they find out that there are actually museums, sites and places that I have never visited. I tell them not to be surprised since one could spend a lifetime in Rome and still not see everything — there really is that much to see.

One place in particular that always seems to escape my radar (which is surprising given that I must have walked by the place a dozen times on my last trip to Rome and didn’t even realize it!) is Centrale Montemartini, an extension of the Capitoline Museum located on Via Ostiense 106. This museum, originally a temporary exhibition while restorations and renovations took place at the Capitoline Museum, is now a permanent museum. It contains many of the leftover archeological finds that just don’t fit into the Capitoline Museum due to space constraints.
What makes this space so unique, as I am finding out, is the juxtaposition between ancient art and the industrial setting in which the pieces are housed. The building, a former power station, is now a strange combination of ancient sculpture and art set against a backdrop of industrial design. I hope that on my next trip to Rome that I will be able to spend some time at this museum.
The museum is located between the metro stops for Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura and Piramide. If you’re in other parts of Rome, hop on the “B” line for the Metro and walk along Via Ostiense until you see it (I want to say that it can’t be that hard to miss, but…well, considering that I missed it…). You could even get off at Garbatella and cross the pedestrian bridge from the station, but this area can be confusing to navigate as there aren’t many signs to direct you. Alternatively, you could take various bus routes (23, 271, 769, 770) or simply walk. I find Rome to be a very walkable city, and, if you have the time (and stamina!), why not enjoy the sights and sounds.
Tickets cost 4.50 euro, but there are various ticket combinations that can be purchased. To read more about that, check out the museum’s web page which is easy to understand and very informative.

photo (top): Facade of Centrale Montemartini, image released to the public domain
photo (bottom): View of the entrance to the museum, courtesy of Andrea Giovagnoli