Centrale Montemartini: why you will love this unique Rome museum

by marta
statues in Centrale Montemartini Rome

All you need to know about Centrale Montemartini museum, Rome: why and how to visit this unique Rome museum, tickets, and practical info.

Centrale Montemartini is one of the most unique and beautiful places in Rome.

It is located in the Ostiense neighborhood, immediately outside the city center, and it is part of the large complex of the Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini), one of the best and most significant ancient art museums in the capital.

What makes Centrale Montemartini special is the collection it hosts and its settings: the museum uses the space of an old power plant and displays ancient statues and mosaics agains the backdrop of industrial machinery. A wonderful and unique set up!

Centrale Montemartini is one of my favorite museums in Rome and one I highly recommend you go see. This is all you need to know to plan a visit,

How to get to Centrale Montemartini: location and public transport options

Centrale Montemartini’s address is Via Ostiense 106 – 00154 Rome. Public transport serving the area consists of:

  • Metro Garbatella (2 minutes walk)
  • Bus: 23, 170
  • Tram n 3 and Metro Piramide, a little farther away. They leave you at Porta San Paolo, about 15 minutes walk from the museum

Attractions near Centrale Montemartini are:
Garbatella neighborhood – local, interesting historical neighghboroon, few minutes walk from the museum
Piramide/Rome Pyramid, one of the most unique Rome monuments
Protestant cemetery, a beautiful monumental cemetery

What is special about Centrale Montemartini Museums

What makes Centrale Montemartini special is the unique use of an industrial space such as an old power plant for the display of classical statues and mosaics from ancient Roman times.

Ancient Roman statue in Centrale Montemartini Museum, Rome

The idea for this museum came in 1997: at the time, the main area fo the Capitoline Museums on the Capitoline Hill had to undergo upgrading and this created the need to temporarily relocate part of its collection.

Montemartini thermoelectrical plant was identified as having large, suitable spaces and the first exhibition was set up: it was called Le Macchine e gli dei (The machines and the gods) and it has such a success with public and art historians, it became permanent.

Indeed, the contrast between archaeology and industrial archaeology has strong visual impact.

Centrale Montemartini is now a large, clean, welcoming space with large industrial machineries used as backdrop for exquisite classical statues and some of the most interesting Roman mosaics in Rome.

What to see in Centrale Montemartini Museum

Centrale Mntemartini is organized in several rooms, displayed on different levels. At a glance, this is what to see in the museum.

Sala Macchine (Machines Room)

Sale Macchine (Machine Room) is one of the most impressive rooms in the museum. It is huge, dominated by large black machinery and it is home to some of the most important sculptures in the museum.

Statue and machine in Centrale Montemartini Museum, Rome

Here, you can see two large diesel motors and a steam turbine (themselves incredible), Roman copies of Greek statues and Roman statues of great grace such as that of Agrippina and the so called Vittoria dei Simmaci.

It also has a colossal head of Hercules from the Capitoline hill and other parts of colossal statues from the sacred area of Largo Argentina (closed to the public, this is the only place to admire its treasures), all worth seeing.

Sala delle Caldaie (boiler Room)

Sala delle caldaie (boiler room) is a large room, with sage green walls, and stunning artefacts and statues.

The first thing you notice here are the fantastic ancient mosaics: they area laid out on the floor, cordoned off from protection, and they are a multicolored triumph of mosaic art and elegance.

Mosaics in Centrale Montemartini

You can admire them from gournd level of you can climb up one set of stairs to appreciate both the mosaic and the large room in which contains them.

As well as the mosaics, the boiler room has stunning statues from several locations in Rome and surrounding areas.

Among the many worth noticing, there is the very famous statue of Marcia, from Parco degli Aquedotti, a stunning statue of the Muse Polymna from Horti Spei Veteris and a delightful statue of a sitting girl from the II century AD.

Statue of Polymnya, Centrale Montemartini Rome

Sala Colonne

Sala Colonne is a less colossal space with a variety of beautiful statues and artworks.

Here, it is possible to admire several sculpted portraits from ancient republican times, noticeable especiually for the incredible detailing of the facial expressions of the people represented, beautiful mosaics and paintings, coming for private ancient roman homes, and funerary monuments from the III-I century AC.

Worth a mention is the funerary attire of Crepereia Tryphaena, the only knownfully preserved one, complete with jewerly and personal items.

Sala del Treno di Pio IX

Sala del Treno di Pio IX (the room of Pope Pius IX train or Boiler room 2) is very different from the others, hosts the beautiful and unexpected train of Pope Pius IX.

The train was brought here in 2016 and it is stunning to see: the detailing of it are exquisite and, if you have visited the Vatican Gardens and the Papal station inside them, a wonderful complement to that visit.

Centrale Montemartini Train, Rome

How to visit Centrale Montemartini Museum

Centrale Montemartinin Museum Opening Hours

  • Tuesday-Sunday 9.00- 19.00 (7pm), last access 30 mins before closing
  • 24 and 31 December 9.00 – 14.00 (2 pm)
  • Closed on Mondays, 1st January (new years day), 25 December (Christmas day)

How to get tickets

Official tickets and available discounts are here

Visiting Centrale Montemartini with kids

Centrale Montemartini is one of the best museums in Rome for kids.

Strollers are allowed inside and the space is vast and clean, easy for kids to enjoy even at a young age.

Depending on age, the machines and the train are likely to be the biggest hit with children. This is a great place for a rainy day in Rome!

A small garden is just outside the main museum rooms and while there is nothing there as such for kids, it can be a good space for younger kids and supervising adult to get some air during the visit.

Good to know: close to the museum there is a good restaurant called Porto Fluviale with good food and family friendly atmosphere.

I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of Centrale Montemartini Museum and it encouraged you to visit. Safe travel planning!

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