Art & Culture (le cose belle) / Happening Now (quel che succede oggi)

4 Museums for a Rainy Day in Rome

Readymade at the Gagosian, Impressionism at The Ara Pacis and Museo Palazzo Cipolla, and Nomachi photography at MACRO Testaccio.

In a city like Rome, where a walk down any number of streets can lead you past classical statuary or opulent Baroque fountains, ensconcing oneself in a museum for the afternoon can sometimes feel redundant. Why pay to see art when you have the view over the Spanish Steps or an opulent Bernini fountain right there in the open? But when the weather turns brutto and there’s nothing but pioggia day after day and your arms are tired of maneuvering your row boat in between broken down buses and snail-paced trams…the indoor option becomes rather appealing.

floodThe Tevere last Week

I have to admit that February is not my favorite month in this city. It’s always around this time of year that I start thinking maybe my time in Rome is coming to an end. It’s been great Roma, but the next adventure calls.

rainy nightRain, rain, RAIN!

Yet, come springtime, I’m just as captivated by outdoor markets and sipping prossecco on a cobblestone corner as ever and I plan to stay yet another year. I think it’s the game Rome plays with every expat: pushing you away with her fickle sulkiness in winter, drawing you back with her flirtatious beauty in spring.

So for those of you like me, grappling with Rome exasperation in all this rain, damp, and transportation angst, head indoors because there are some truly great exhibits out there right now.

1. Alex Israel and Kathryn Andrews at THE GAGOSIAN GALLERY


This is the kind of exhibit that you will either find thought provoking and insightful (a commentary on contemporary Hollywood culture, Southern California style, and the very meaning of art, presentation, and owenership) or dull and meaningless (rented cinema props on display as art? silver metal beach umbrellas? huh?). I felt a little bit of both. Whether you will like it or not, this museum is composed of only two rooms so it’s a quick snapshot of an art gallery AND it’s free. My advice: why not just go!

Where: The Gagosian Gallery: Via Francesco Crispi, 16. If you head toward Via del Corso from Piazza Barberini, the street is on your right!

When: Until March 15, 2014

Tue-Sa:  10:30-7

How much: FREE!

(Visit the website for more information)

2. Gems of Impressionism at the MUSEO DEL ARA PACIS

Layout 1

Hurry! This exhibit will only be available for another two weeks. The exhibition space under the Ara Pacis is more extensive than at first meets the eye and these paintings on loan from the National Gallery in Washington will delight lovers of Impressionism. Probably the most relaxing way to spend a rainy afternoon amidst wavering gardens, landscapes, and rain-kissed city streets.

Where: Museo dell’Ara Pacis near Ponte Cavour. The entrance to see “Gemme dell’Impressionismo” is accessible from Via di Ripetta, below the impressive glass-walled showroom that houses Augustus’s altar of peace.

When: Until 23rd February, 2014

Tuesday -Sunday: 9am — 7pm

How much: exhibition-only ticket €10 (cost to also see Ara Pacis €16)

(Visit the website for more information)

3. Modigliani, Soutine and artists cursed at MUSEO PALAZZO CIPOLLA

modigliani owens

“The exhibit hooks you straight away with a Parisian cafe set up just inside. The paintings start fast after that and pull you deep into the underbelly of Modigliani’s Paris. From then on it builds until finally you get to Modigliani’s work. I recommend the audio guide, it for once was filled with juicy tidbits about the gossip of the time.” (Picture and quote from neuroscientist/photographer/blogger/Rome enthusiast Owen Phillips. Check out his blog here for more great photography!

Where: Via Del Corso, 320

When: Until 6th April, 2014

Monday: 2:30pm — 8:00pm

Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm

How much: €13

(Visit the website for more information)

4. Kazuyoshi Nomachi photography at the MACRO TESTACCIO


This collection of photographs from Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Nomachi gives viewers a glimpse into the landscapes and people from such diverse places as the deserts of Africa, the river Ganges, the mountains of Tibet, and Mecca. Nomachi’s work focuses on the rituals that make up daily life from caring for livestock to funeral rites, prayer, and sacred pilgrimages. His work begs the question: when stripped down to the basics, is there really a difference between sacred and profane?

Where: Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4 (Right next to Testaccio and an easy walk from “Piramide” on Metro B)

When: Until May 4th, 2014

Open 4pm to 10pm, closed Monday

How much: €10

One thought on “4 Museums for a Rainy Day in Rome

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s