A Tourist in Rome - National Museum of Rome - Palazzo Massimo

Location::Half way between the Termini metro stop and the Repubblica metro stop
Metro::Termini
Time::2 hours
Cost::€10, includes admission to the other three buildings of the National Museum of Rome
Hours::Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00 AM - 7:45 PM
Audio Guide::Yes, for €5

The Palazzo Massimo is one of the four buildings which are part of the National Museum of Rome, along with Terme di Diocleziano, Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi. Palazzo Massimo houses Greek and Roman sculptures (the world's most important collection of Classical art), a huge collection of frescoed walls and mosaics from prestigious Roman dwellings, and a large coin collection. Highlights include the Boxer, the Discus Thrower, and the frescoed walls from the villa of Livia, wife of Augustus, frescoed between 30 BC and 20 BC.

The Boxer, mentioned above and shown in the photo below, deserves a bit more mention. At first glance, this 1st century BC bronze sculpture appears to be just a muscular man sitting down to rest. The only sign that he's a boxer is that his hands are covered by leather gloves which continue up onto his forearms. Then a closer look at his face shows that his cheek has a gash and there's a lump on his forehead, just below his hairline, from a recent pummeling. It becomes obvious that this man is rather old since his misshapen ears and multiply-broken nose suggest he's spent many years in the ring. His dejected look suggests that he's questioning why he continues going into the ring as the end of his career looms nearer and nearer on his horizon, and what he might to survive once it arrives.

    
The Boxer, seated on a boulder, resting after a boxing match, an original Greek bronze from the 1st century BC, in the Palazzo Massimo
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I found this museum to be an excellent way to spend a couple hours, with an interesting collection of history and art all described very well on signs in Italian and English. I would highly recommend this second-tier museum, assuming you've already seen the first-tier museums: Capitoline Museum, the Vatican Museum, and the Borghese Gallery. I found it to be the best of the four museums which are part of the National Museum of Rome.

Highlights of the museum are shown in the photos below.

    
Roman calendar (Fasti annales) from the Republican Era, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Roman calendar (Fasti Praenestini) from 6-10 AD, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Closeup of the Roman calendar (Fasti Praenestini) from 6-10 AD, in the Palazzo Massimo. January 30th was the anniversary of the dedication of the Ara Pacis in 9 BC.
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Altar to Mars and Venus, this side showing Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf, and the shepherds who found them, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Statue of Augustus as pontifex maximus, in Palazzo Massimo
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Bust of Livia, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Niobide the Gardens of Sallust, a 5th century BC Greek statue of a wounded woman whose back has been stuck by an arrow, in the Palazzo Massimo
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The Boxer, seated on a boulder, resting after a boxing match, an original Greek bronze from the 1st century BC, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Bust of Domitian, in the Palazzo Massimo, just one of many fine busts of emperors and others in the museum
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Sarcophagus with the Muses, in the Palazzo Massimo
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The Discus Thrower, from the 2nd century AD, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Floor mosaic showing the struggle between Dionysus and the Indians, from the 4th century AD, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Paintings from the baths of the Piazza dei Cinquecento, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Paintings from the baths of the Piazza dei Cinquecento, in the Palazzo Massimo
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Frescoes from Bedroom B of the Villa of the Farnesina, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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Floor mosaic with marine animals, from the 3rd century AD, in the Palazzo Massimo (mosaic of 4 images)
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Frescoes from Bedroom D of the Villa of the Farnesina, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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The Painted Garden of the Villa of Livia, from about 30 BC, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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The Painted Garden of the Villa of Livia, from about 30 BC, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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The Painted Garden of the Villa of Livia, from about 30 BC, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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Fresco from the area of Lungotevere of Pietra Papa, from the 2nd century AD, now in the Palazzo Massimo
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Marble mosaic from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, in the Palazzo Massimo
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