02. Ancient Mediterranean 03. Early Europe & Colonial Americas 10. Global Contemporary Christianity Europe Italy

AP Art History Hunting in Rome, Italy

January 28, 2019

Rome literally has the mother-load of pieces from the AP Art History curriculum (Paris & London are probably the only other cities that can complete). You can spend your entire time in Rome searching for the 250 and luckily they line up with the other cool tourist things to do too.
FYI, technically speaking Vatican City is not part of Rome (or even Italy for that matter) so artwork located there are included in another blog post. But when you visit Rome you would be dumb to not also do Vatican…
Content Area 2: Ancient Mediterranean


#29. Sarcophagus of the Spouses
This artwork is obviously a sarcophagus (duh!) that was used for the cremated remains of an Etruscan couple. What I found lovely about this piece and the others like it is the fact that both husband and wife are depicted together like they are at an eternal banquet in the afterlife.

  • Location: Museo Nazionale in Villa Giulia (National Museum in the Villa Giulia)
  • Cost: 6€
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9am – 2pm; Sun closed


#31. Sculpture of Apollo
The Museum in the Villa Giulia is specifically an Etruscan Museum, so it is your best stop for all Etruscan art while in Rome. The temple that goes with the sculpture of Apollo from Veii is not here (it has not survived the test of time) but it’s a great place to find out information about Etruscan temples in general.

  • Location: Museo Nazionale in Villa Giulia (National Museum in the Villa Giulia)
  • Cost: 6€
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9am – 2pm; Sun closed


#42. Head of a Roman patrician
This understated piece says a lot about the values of a Roman republic: veristic (serious), traditional, and wise. But it is located in private hands and you can’t visit. Wah!
img_20131203_103626
#41. Seated Boxer
Ah the Seated Boxer! One of my most favorite pieces in art history! I spend a long weekend in Rome alone a few years ago and spend days looking for him in all the other major museums only to finally ask someone (why did I not google???). Believe it or not he is in the museum closest to the train station, which was a stone’s throw away from my hostel. It was too funny! I only got to spend an hour or so in the museum because I had a train to catch but he was totally worth it.

  • Location: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (part of the National Roman Museum)
  • Cost: 7€
  • Opening Times: Tues-Sun 9am – 7:45pm; Mon closed

Read more: Tuesday in Rome: Palazzo Massimo

IMG_6036.JPG
#44. Colosseum
This so happens to be one of the most iconic works of architecture in the world, everyone who comes to Rome for their visit is bound to end up there. I highly recommend to do a walking tour of the Colosseum, they range in price depending on what they include; even if you are an art history guru, I find a lot of value in the guided tours.
The Colosseum is right next to the Roman Forum (although not an image in the 250, you should totally go!) and halfway between the train station and the River Tiber. You literally can’t miss it. lol

  • Location: if you are taking public transport, there is a metro stop called “Colosseum on Line B
  • Cost: 12€
  • Opening Times: Daily 8:30am until 1 hour before sunset (so closing times vary by season)

dscn2882
#45. Forum of Trajan
Trajan’s Forum is quite large and made up of a few different parts, some more visible than others:

  • Basilica & Library (all but destroyed now)
  • Column
  • Markets

There is literally no missing Trajan’s Column, it stands strikingly erect among the ancient ruins of the basilica and let me tell you it is a beautiful thing to behold. When you get to the column (usually the first thing I spot) look in the opposite direction of the baroque church and then you will see the columns of the ruined basilica down to the markets. The markets are in decently good shape too! All of these sites are near the Roman Forum, so it’s a great time to do a tour of those while you are here.

  • Location: right by the Capitoline Museums & Roman Forum
  • Cost: Free because you can see it all outdoors
  • Opening Times: It’s outside, so it’s always open

*Note, if you so choose, you can visit the art galleries held within the Markets of Trajan, I personally have never done so, so I cannot provide a recommendation.

Read more: Sunday in Rome: Jessica Strikes Back

img_6623
#46. Pantheon
Just like the Colosseum, the Pantheon is on the top of everyone’s list to see while in Rome. Of course, most people don’t know the fully beauty of the site but, if you’ve taken art history, you do! The Pantheon was a Roman Temple to many goods (the name translates as “all gods” but that’s not literally) and then, thankfully, it was made in to a Catholic Church otherwise it may no longer be with us today. It is still a Catholic Church, with the oculus and all, but operates more as a monument. As an FYI, in the Pantheon you can find the tomb of Vittorio Emmanuel II, the FIRST king of Italy, and the tomb of Raphael Sanzio, a man who needs no introduction to art history nerds.

  • Location: in between Piazza Navona & the Church of San Ignazio (not part of the 250 but I HIGHLY recommend)
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9:00am-7:30pm; Sun 9:00am-1:00pm

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

1200px-grande_ludovisi_altemps_inv8574
#47. Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
This is one of the most highly decorated Ancient Roman sarcophagi, filled with figures in the round and lots of drama. So much battle drama! There are so many interlocked figures it can feel like a 3D “Where’s Waldo.” The museum it is housed is “the” museum in Rome for Ancient Greek & Roman art (besides the Vatican of course). I have never visited so I do not know exactly how this image is displayed.

  • Location: Palazzo Altemps (part of the National Roman Museum)
  • Cost: 7€
  • Opening Times: Tues-Sun 9:00am-7:45pm; Mon closed

Content Area 3: Early Europe & Colonial Americas
slide_326079_3132683_free
#48. Catacomb of Priscilla
So there are lots of different catacombs to choose from along the Appian Way (FYI this catacomb is on the Via Salaria) outside of Rome, I made it there after a failed attempt or two going on foot (lesson: take public transportation!). I went to the Catacomb of San Callisto instead but they are all very similar.

  • Location: Via Salaria, 430
  • Cost: 8€
  • Opening Times: Tues-Sun 9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00pm-5:00pm

Read more: Tuesday in Rome: Catacombs FINALLY!

img_4295
#49. Santa Sabina
This church a bit of a walk outside all the major sites in Rome but on the way you can see the Circus Maximus, Bocca della Veritá, Imperial Forum, and Temple of Hercules Victor. The church is set off the main road and quiet honestly you don’t really know that you’re there until you read the sign so keep your eyes peeled.
This church is not only one of the earliest Christian in Rome, but also one of the best preserved with early mosaics, columns of ancient Roman spolia, and simple design. I highly recommend the walk, you will be also rewarded with beautiful views of the Eternal City from the top of the Aventine Hill.

  • Location:Piazza Pietro D’Illiria, 1
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance
  • Opening Times: Daily 7:30am-12:30pm & 3:30pm-5:30pm

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

Content Area 3: Early Europe and Colonial Americas
img_4306

#82. Il Gesù, including Triumph of the Name of Jesus ceiling fresco
 

Il Gesù is kind of close to Trajan’s Forum but it does not appear on many tourists maps so you may have to search it out on your own. Il Gesù is the “mother house” of the Jesuit Order (also called the Society of Jesus) and is therefore an important church not just for it’s art. In AP Art History it is the façade, plan, and ceiling (soooo all of it?? J) that are part of the “canon.” When I visited, they set up a mirror so you do not have to continue to crane your neck up to look at the ceiling. Also, if you go in the evening, there is a box where you pay a euro to illuminate the ceiling – however I do not recommend this. First off, it gives an unnatural hue to it all and secondly, it ate my euro. I considered that my church donation and sulking came back the next day where there was natural light.

  • Location: Via degli Astalli, 16.; nearby Piazza Venezia
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance & it’s 1€ to turn the spotlight on to illuminate the art
  • Opening Times: Daily 9:30am-5:30pm

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

*Second Note: I much, much prefer another Jesuit church in Rome, Sant’Ignazio, so I suggest you visit both if you can! The following information is for Sant’Ignazio (Church of Saint Ignatius in English).

  • Location: Via degli Astalli, 16
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance
  • Opening Times: Daily 7:00am – 12:30pm & 4:00pm-7:45pm

calling of st matthewdscn2901
#85. Calling of Saint Matthew
I know I have visited this church but my only photo is of the sign??? I’m guessing I couldn’t take photos (hmmm…) Anyways the Calling of Saint Matthew is in the Church San Luigi dei Francesi which is nearby the Piazza Navona. Caravaggio’s piece is in the chapel of the Contarelli Family. The chapel (and his paintings) are super dark so I highly recommend paying the money to illuminate the chapel so you can actually see it.

  • Location: San Luigi dei Francesi
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance & it’s 1€ to turn the spotlight on to illuminate the art
  • Opening Times: Daily 10:00am-12:30pm & 3:00pm-7:00pm; Thurs afternoons closed

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

dscn2945

#88. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane
This is a teeny yet sumptuous Baroque church nearby WHERE!!@ The inside is just as gorgeous as the outside and filled with a white marble that is illuminated by the sunlight. The church always takes me by surprise when I turn the corner. Speaking of corners, the church is called in English St. Charles of the Four Fountains and literally there are four fountains on the corner by the church that are really cool in and of themselves.

  • Location: Via del Quirinale, 23; nearby the Piazza Barberini
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sat 10:00am-1:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-1:00pm

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

img_20131202_024746img_20131202_024407

#89. Ecstasy of Saint Teresa
The baroque statue of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is a heart stopper, no matter who you are. The marble just seems to melt like butter and the theatricality of the image is heightened when the light is just right and shines through the stained glass in the ceiling. A gorgeous, and incredibly famous image, in this beautiful, quiet church.
*Note: yes this church was in Dan Brown’s book Angels & Demons 🙂
  • Location: Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria; nearby the Piazza della Repubblica
  • Cost: Free, but I usually give a donation for a candle/maintenance & it’s 1€ to turn the spotlight on to illuminate the art
  • Opening Times: Daily 7:00am-12:00pm & 3:30pm-7:15pm

*Note: this place is a working Catholic church so visit times may be altered due to liturgical celebrations. Taking photos during mass may be forbidden, but if it’s not, it’s kind of rude. Go grab a coffee, walk around, and come back in 40 minutes.

Read more: Monday in Rome, Part I: Church Hopping

Content Area 10: Global Contemporary


#249. MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts
 

This image is part of the AP Art History curriculum for its innovative architecture by the late Zaha Hadid but the site is an actual museum, so if you are going to make the slight trek outside the historic center to see the building, you might as well stay for the contemporary art. I have never visited the museum, all my previous visits to Rome have been concentrated in the historic center but now that I have visited Rome 4 times, it may be high time to pop into MAXXI next time.

  • Location: Piazza Antonio Mancini, 55; north of the historic center near the stadium
  • Cost: 12€
  • Opening Times: Tues-Fri 11:00am-7:00pm; Sat 11:00am-10:00pm; Sun 11:00am-7:00pm; Mon closed

JMF


apah hunting in rome, italy

  • Reply
    Kathryn McDonnell
    January 28, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    #42. Head of a Roman patrician is in a private collection that has been closed since at least the 1960s.

    • Reply
      jessnettea
      January 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you! I figured it had to be private since I couldn’t find ANY info. I will update that entry ASAP.

Leave a Reply

Instagram

Instagram has returned invalid data.

Follow Me!