Sunday, September 28, 2008

National Museum of Rome

The National Museum of Rome
is one of the city's lesser-known treasures. Housed in Palazzo Massimo in Largo Peretti, it is a recently restored 18th century building which was a copy of the baroque style. The building itself is worth a visit.

The collection of Greek & Roman antiquities which it houses is almost as important as the collection of the Vatican. There are busts and statues from the Age of the Flavian Emperors, frescoes and mosaics from early Roman villas and palaces, life-size bronzes to take your breath away, and best of all, a vault deep in the bowels of the building which holds the numismatic history of the Roman coinage.
In 312 AD, Emperor Constantine set the gold-standard which in one form or another prevails to this day, and the collection of every coin minted, is stunning. It is hardly ever crowded and you can roam to your heart's content.

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