If you can remember that far back, when I was in Luxembourg a few weeks ago, I visited an excellent museum all about the history of the city itself. It was well-presented, informative, interesting and told a complete picture that enabled me later, when wandering around the town, to put everything into context. It was also very quiet.
At least the Museo di Roma has one thing in common with its counterpart in the landlocked principality. But I’m getting ahead of myself a little.
Here is the story of my day so far in Rome: I did find a place to sit and ready guide book; on the steps of the fountain just outside The Pantheon. When I came to Rome back in 2004, I did most of the sites; the Roman forum, tour of the Coliseum, climb of the “typewriter” monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, wander around St. Peters & the Vatican museum to see the Sistine Chapel…. I didn’t manage to see inside The Pantheon however as it was closed. So that would have been a good thing to visit today. But it was closed again. Something was going on inside and there was just great throng of people outside the entrance peering up at the roof trying to get a glimpse. Too bad. I’ll have to return again to see it.
Thinking how nice it would be to replicate the Luxembourg experience, I looked up the Museum of Rome. I knew one existed as Marcello had confirmed so last night. The Rough Guide said it was on the southern side of Piazza Navona. I arrived and found the ‘Museo Nazionale Romano’ (what kind of idiot would not think that this museum was not the Museum of Rome?!), paid my 6,50€ and had a wander around. Mmm… Not very informative. Lots of busts and sculptures in an impressive building. No translations into English which made it difficult to piece together the story being told, if indeed one was being told. After a respectable amount of time I made my way out.
I continued to wander and eventually found myself on the other end of Piazza Navona. Where I found the, err… Museo di Roma. After all my navigating by the sun over the past month I was unable to correctly identify south from north. Despite the extra cost – another 8€ – I thought ‘what the heck!’, paid up and went in. It was then that I discovered that the Museum of Rome has at least one thing in common with the Museum of Luxembourg….
However, there is a silver lining to this cloud; I reckon that, of all the people to visit the square today, I have got the best picture of Piazza Navona; from the first floor of the Museo di Roma (not the Museo Nazionale Romano).