Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

National Roman Museum, Museo Nazionale Romano – Virtual Tour

National Roman Museum, Museo Nazionale Romano

National Roman Museum, Museo Nazionale Romano – Virtual Tour

The National Roman Museum, in Italian it is called Museo Nazionale Romano, is a collection of museums in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome, Italy.

The museums exhibit the pre-history and early history of Rome, with a focus on archaeological findings from the period of Ancient Rome.

A Virtual Tour of the National Roman Museum

Highlights of the National Roman Museum

Busts from Ancient History

Bust of Philip V of Macedon

This bust depicts Philip V King of Macedon wearing a Phrygian-style helmet which was common among the Macedonians. Philip V was king from 221 to 179 BC.

Philip, as a young man, was a charismatic and courageous warrior, and he was inevitably compared to Alexander the Great. However, Philip’s reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of the Roman Republic.

He would lead Macedon against Rome in the First and Second Macedonian Wars, losing both but allying with Rome in the Roman-Seleucid War towards the end of his reign.

Bust of Aristotle

This bust of Aristotle is a marble Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC. The alabaster mantle is a modern addition.

Aristotle (384–322 BC) was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition.

Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the “Father of Western Philosophy.” His writings cover many subjects and provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing before him.

Portrait of Socrates

This bust is a 1st cent AD marble sculpture of Socrates (470-399 BC) is a Roman copy of a Greek original by Lysippos (c. 395-305 BC) on the Pompeian of Athens.

It was found at the construction site of the monument to Vitorio Emanuel II, Rome, Italy.

Socrates was a classical Athenian philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought.

He made no writings and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers writing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon.

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Boxer at Rest

The “Boxer at Rest” is a Hellenistic Greek bronze sculpture of a sitting nude boxer at rest, still wearing his leather hand-wraps.

The Boxer at Rest is one of the finest examples of bronze sculptures to have survived from the ancient world. Survival of bronze sculptures from 2,000 years ago is rare, as they were often melted down during times of strife and turbulence.

This artwork comes from a period in Greek art when there is a movement away from idealized heroic depictions of the body and youth, and an exploration of emotional themes and greater realism.

Portonaccio Sarcophagus

The Portonaccio Sarcophagus is dated to about 200 AD and was used for the burial of a wealthy Roman General who was active in the Campaigns of Marcus Aurelius.

The sculptures show influences similar to those of the Column of Marcus Aurelius. This Sarcophagus, one of the many Roman Battle Sarcophagi, that was probably made in Athens.

The Hellenistic monuments from Pergamon influenced them. The Pergamon monuments in Asia Minor depicted Pergamene battle victories over the Gauls and were commissioned for military commanders.

Discobolus Palombara

The “Discobolus of Myron” is a Greek sculpture that represents a youthful ancient Greek athlete throwing a discus. The original Greek bronze from about 460–450 BC is lost, but the work is known through numerous Roman copies.

Copies of the Discobolus have been discovered of both full-scale ones in marble, which was cheaper than bronze, such as the “Palombara Discobolus,” and smaller scaled versions in bronze.

The “Discus Thrower” is depicted as he is about to release his throw and was modeled to represent a human coil of energy ready to explode.

Museo Nazionale Romano

Founded in 1889, the museum aimed to collect and show archaeologic materials unearthed during the excavations after the union of Rome with the Kingdom of Italy. 

The original core of its collection originated from the Museo Kircheriano (Kircherian Museum), archaeologic works assembled by the antiquarian and Jesuit priest.

Renamed initially as the Royal Museum, the collection was intended to be moved to a Museo Tiberino (Tiberine Museum), which was never completed.

In 1901 the National Roman Museum acquired the Collection Ludovisi as well as the critical national collections of Ancient Sculpture.

Findings during the urban renewal of the late 19th century added to the collections. Its primary location was established in the charterhouse, which was designed and realized in the 16th century by Michelangelo.

It was located within the Baths of Diocletian, which now houses the epigraphic and the protohistoric sections of the modern museum.

At the same time, the primary collection of ancient art was moved to the nearby Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.

The National Roman Museum’s branches in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome, Italy, include:

  • Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
  • Palazzo Altemps
  • Crypta Balbi
  • Baths of Diocletian

National Roman Museum

  • Name:          National Roman Museum
  • City:             Rome
  • Founded:     1889
  • Type:            Archaeology & Art Museum, Historic Buildings & Site
  • Address:
    • Baths of Diocletian – Via Enrico de Nicola, 79, Rome, Italy
    • Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme – Largo di Villa Peretti, 1, Rome, Italy
    • Palazzo Altemps via Sant’Apollinare, 46, Rome, Italy
    • Crypta Balbi- Via Delle Botteghe Oscure, 31, Rome, Italy

Guided Tour in Museo Nazionale Romano, Roma

Explore Italian Museums

Rome Museums and Historical Sites

Florence Museums

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Bologna Museums

Map for National Roman Museum, Museo Nazionale Romano

Il Museo Nazionale – Roma

The National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Massimo alle Terme)


“It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.”
– Julius Caesar


Photo Credit: Dguendel [CC BY 3.0 (]

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