TheSaint wrote:I really enjoyed the Vatican Museums in Rome, but the overall impression I ended up with was overwhelming saturation. There is just so much impressive stuff in there that the total effect is less than the sum of its parts. The particularly applies to the Sistine Chapel, which is just rammed full of tourists, many disobeying the "no photos, no talking" instructions.
My absolute favourite in the world is the Galleria Borghese, which is more a small gallery than a museum, but is well worth going to if you are ever in Rome. Its collection comes from a similar method to the Vatican Museums, in that it is Papally plundered older art alongside contemporary (for its time) commissions from greatest Italian artists.
Where it differs from the Vatican Museums is in their approach to the visitor experience. Whilst the Vatican Museums cram as many people in as can fit, entry to the Galleria Borghese is strictly limited to just 360 people every 2 hours (which you need to book in advance), and you have to check your bags and cameras. This means you have a relaxed, uncrowded experience to appreciate the art, without anybody taking photos to interrupt you (similarly, without the urge to take photos yourself to interrupt you). It also helps keep their collection beautifully preserved, and means that a lot of it is left totally exposed to you, in a way that would never be possible in most museums.
It isn’t very big, but it has hands down the finest collection of art I’ve ever seen. The Bernini statues are the highlight and are truly spectacular, but everything there is fantastic (including a room full of Caravaggio paintings). It also has wonderful tromp l’oeil paintings on the ceilings and walls.
#8219930, By terminalterror Your favourite museums
terminalterror 18,933 posts
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