October: The Museums of Rome

It’s been yet another month! Now that my daily routine has started to feel mundane (although deep down I don’t think I’ll ever get over the convenience of the metro), I’m slowly preparing myself for all of the ways I can branch out while still prioritizing my schoolwork.

In my post reflecting on September, I decided on three goals for October, especially ones I could complete during my week of fall break: Explore new food, visit more museums, and pursue meaningful free time. After my experience in Venice, I knew I wanted to spend my week of fall break exploring the city I’m living in. Rome alone has so much to offer, and as I thought about my goals for October, I knew I wanted to plan a week full of activities I would enjoy while my roommates went off on their own adventure. I decided to spend my time in various museums around the city I had passed by throughout the month, but hadn’t had time to visit.

The Capitoline Museums is a single museum comprised of three buildings absolutely packed with ancient Roman art and artifacts as well as medieval and Renaissance art. This is a museum I can access for free with my MIC card, and now that I’ve been once, I would love to write a blog post just about this massive collection.

The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the Capitoline Museums.

Palazzo Altemps is a branch of the National Roman Museum and might be my favorite museum so far. The 15th century building houses ancient sculptures from Renaissance collections.

The Ludovisi Gaul (Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife) in Palazzo Altemps. Every half hour the lighting in the room changed, allowing you to view the sculpture at dawn, noon, late afternoon, and sunset.

I returned to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum with “full experience” tickets, which allowed me to explore the underground of the Colosseum and peek into some of the buildings throughout the Forum. Although I’ve been inside the Forum three times now, I simply can’t get enough of it—I’ll have to return again soon!

Inside the Colosseum, just above the gladiator tunnels!
A fresco depicting Christ between Mary Magdalene and Mary Salome dating to around the 13th century inside the Temple of Romulus in the Roman Forum.

The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) was originally on the outskirts of Rome but is now located in a dedicated museum at Lungotevere in Augusta. This is another museum I had free access to with my MIC card, and it was such a special experience to not only study the friezes along the outside, but to walk around the inside of the altar.

The interior of the Ara Pacis.

After spending what I would call a week “in my element,” I can tell I am gradually growing more comfortable with seeing Rome from my own curious angle. I am already eagerly looking to November and deciding what my goals for the upcoming month will be!

Arrivederci e a presto!

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