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Kara & Maggiore — Minted





Galleria Borghese


This museum is small but mighty! The statues carved by Bernini are a marvel in realism of movement and human figure. Pictured is my favorite statue of all time -- Bernini's David. I could circle the statue for hours observing the movement and tension in his muscles and the look of determination and grit and in his face. When visiting, don't miss Pluto's hand gripping Persephone's thigh which dimples like flesh under his hand or Daphne's hands turning into delicate leaves to escape the lustful aggression of Apollo!

The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese Collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621). Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio, whose paintings Boy with a Basket of Fruit, St Jerome Writing, and Sick Bacchus are featured at the Borghese.

You could walk this museum in 20 minutes or take the full two hours allotted to each visitor. After your visit, walk through the Villa Borghese park and have an apertivo at a cafe in the gardens.

Note: Advanced reservations are a must! If you are limited to a certain time, I recommend purchasing tickets 2-3 months in advance.

Musei Vaticani


The Vatican Museums are one of the most visited sites in the world and for good reason. Their extensive collection of ancient sculpture alongside the Renaissance masterpieces inspired by them are truly a marvel.

What this means, however, is that you need to buy tickets in advance -- like months ahead to ensure you get the day and entrance time you want. Buying tickets in advance also allows you to skip the long and winding line that wraps around the Vatican walls daily.

As you walk through the museum, pay close attention to statues like the Laocoon and the Torso Belvedere as they pop back up in Renaissance works by da Vinci and Michelangelo, including The Last Judgment fresco on the wall of the Sistine Chapel.

In your welcome bags, there will be a printed handout that was created by UD Rome's former Art and Architecture professor, Dr. Laura Flusche, to help guide you through the museum and make connections between the ancient sculptures and the art they influenced. 

Musei Capitolini


The Museui Capitolini are for serious history buffs and ancient Rome fanatics! They feature an extensive collection of ancient sculpture and other stone work that greatly influenced the works of Renaissance artisits like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Some highlights include an original bronze La Lapa (the Capitoline She-Wolf) statue, the Capitoline Venus, and the head of the colossal Constantine statue originally located in his basilica in the Roman Forum.

The museums are located in Piazza Campidoglio, which was designed by Michelangelo on the Capitoline Hill overlooking the Roman Forum. The Capitoline Hill, one of the original seven hills of ancient Rome, was once home to the most important temples in ancient Rome, including the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and the Temple of Jupiter Moneta (the treasury). Of note in the piazza are the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the chariot ramp stairs leading to the piazza, and the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli located adjacent to the piazza.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of entry. The piazza is also a great place to sit and eat a pannini or pizza a taglio (pizza by the slice) before or after your visit.

Can't Miss!: Before leaving the hill, be sure to walk behind the museums on the Roman Forum side for one of the best golden hour views in the city. You'll get a perfect view of the Temple of Saturn standing majestically over the ruins of the forum.