Hidden Gems in Rome: Visit Centrale Montemartini Museum

Hello and welcome to a new article dedicated to Hidden Rome. Today, I’m taking you on a journey to discover the Centrale Montemartini Museum in Rome, a very unique museum. Specifically, you will learn about the history of the Centrale Montemartini Museum, from its past as an electrical power station to its conversion into one of the most unusual museums in Rome.

In this article, we will take a virtual journey among sarcophagi and jewels unearthed from numerous archaeological digs around the city. The history of the Centrale Montemartini Museum as an electrical power station is a fascinating chapter in Rome’s history, a journey from the birth of industrial modernity to its transformation into a cultural icon.

Believe me, it will be a real journey through time, allowing you to relive ancient Rome in a modern way. Well, let’s not waste any more time. Let’s dive into our guide on what to see at the Centrale Montemartini Museum in Rome. Ready? Let’s begin!

The History of the Centrale Montemartini Museum in Rome

The history of the Centrale Montemartini Museum began in 1912 when a modern thermoelectric power plant was built in the industrial area of Ostiense. Its original purpose was to provide electricity to a growing 20th-century Rome. Imagine the frenzy of industrial activity as the city was discovering the power and importance of electricity!

The Centrale Montemartini Museum as an Electrical Power Station

Built to meet the increasing demand for electricity, the power plant represented a bastion of modernity. Its majestic brick structures and imposing turbines were the answer to Rome’s expansion into the era of electricity. For decades, the Centrale Montemartini Museum played a crucial role in powering the daily life of Rome with electricity. Its electric machines, driven by the power of steam, transformed coal and water into energy, fueling public lighting, industries, and homes in the Eternal City.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Montemartini Power Plant experienced significant technological advancements. The electric machines were constantly improved, and the plant became a center of innovation in electricity production. This period of intense technological and industrial activity helped shape the history of the plant, making it a fundamental element in supplying energy to a constantly growing Rome.

As the years went by, technological evolution led to a transition towards more modern energy sources, marking the decline of the Centrale Montemartini Museum as an active electrical power station. In 1970, the plant closed its doors for good, marking the beginning of a new phase in its existence.

centrale montemartini
centrale montemartini

The Centrale Montemartini Museum as a Museum

Who would have thought that this power plant would one day host works of art? The turning point came in 1997 when the Centrale Montemartini closed its doors as an energy production plant. After years of service, Rome had this large power plant that was no longer usable. For this reason, the famous Centrale Montemartini Power Plant was transformed into an extraordinary museum, a unique fusion of industrial power and artistic elegance.

I visited the Centrale Montemartini Museum on a cold January afternoon while exploring hidden places around Rome to organize my guided tours. My passionate love for Rome led me to become a tour guide, taking my guests to discover the emotions and beauty that only this city can offer. But let’s get back to our topic. As I was saying, I had long wanted to visit the Centrale Montemartini Museum, and I finally did. What fascinated me the most about the Montemartini Power Plant was its fusion of ancient Rome and a modernizing Rome.

Thanks to the work of everyone involved in creating this project, the Centrale Montemartini Museum was immediately organized as an immersive and itinerant museum. The works of art are positioned among the corridors of the old rooms used for the power plant’s activities. For example, you will see ancient Roman artifacts in the room that once housed the large boilers. Amazing!

centrale montemartini

The Centrale Montemartini Museum and Its Permanent Collection

After this introduction, let me take you to the heart of the Centrale Montemartini Museum: its permanent collection. Here, the encounter between ancient Roman statues and imposing industrial machines creates a unique atmosphere. In particular, the ancient marbles mix with heavy metal structures, creating a dialogue between past and present.

The Structure of the Centrale Montemartini

The museum’s layout spans four large rooms, covering an area of about 3,000 square meters. At the Centrale Montemartini in Rome, you will find about 400 archaeological artifacts from the Roman era, including statues, sarcophagi, mosaics, and decorated reliefs.

The artifacts belong to the collection of the Capitoline Museums and are linked to two main archaeological excavations in the city of Rome: when Rome was declared the Capital of Italy and during the rise of Fascism. Therefore, it was during these two significant moments that Rome underwent extensive excavations and research.

Artworks on Display

Start your journey by exploring the artistic wonders that decorate the spaces of the Centrale Montemartini. Paintings, sculptures, and artworks from different eras and styles blend in a fascinating visual symphony. Focus on the archaeological finds unearthed during excavations around Rome, such as sarcophagi or wedding statuettes found during the excavations at Termini Station.

You are surrounded by masterpieces by renowned artists, each with a unique story to tell. The art here captures the essence of past eras and offers a unique perspective on Rome’s rich cultural history. Take a moment to observe the details of the statues depicting scenes of noble life during the Roman era. Trust me, you’ll be amazed by the beauty and attention to detail.

centrale montemartini
centrale montemartini

The Role of Industrial Machines in the Exhibition

Looking up, you’ll notice the imposing presence of the industrial machines, which surprisingly become an integral part of the exhibition. These enormous metal structures provide a unique backdrop to the surrounding artworks. However, the industrial machines are not just decorative elements; they are protagonists narrating the story of the transformation of this place from a power plant to an eclectic art gallery. Their presence underscores the blend of the industrial world and artistic expression, offering you a unique vision of the interaction between two seemingly opposite worlds.

Highlights of the Collection

As you walk through the halls of the Centrale Montemartini, you’ll discover extraordinary works from the Capitoline Museums. Statuettes, bas-reliefs, and sculptures come to life in an unusual setting. Continuing your journey through the permanent collection, you will encounter some highlights that will capture your attention.

You will discover works by local artists that reflect the beauty of Roman and international culture. Every corner holds a surprise, and every step brings you closer to a deeper understanding of the diverse art showcased in this unique place.

Additionally, on the ground floor, you can enter a hall dedicated to the exhibition of three carriages belonging to the train of Pius IX, dating back to 1858. This allows you to observe up close all the details of the beautiful 19th-century train carriages, famous for their elegance. Finally, on the ground floor, you can also closely observe an ancient mosaic of about 80 square meters depicting hunting scenes, dating back to the 4th century AD.

centrale montemartini

How to Visit the Centrale Montemartini in Rome

The Centrale Montemartini opens its doors to welcome you from Tuesday to Sunday. The good news? You can explore the incredible exhibitions from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. However, pay attention to special hours during holidays or special events. Always check the official website for the latest opening hours information.

Ticket Prices

The ticket price for visiting the Centrale Montemartini in Rome varies for residents and non-residents. However, if you have the MIC Card, entry to the Centrale Montemartini in Rome is free. Personally, I visited the museum for free thanks to the MIC Card. So, if you haven’t subscribed yet, I recommend doing it as soon as possible.

For simplicity, here are some details about the various rates to access the museum, but I suggest always checking the official website for updated information.

  • Full price: €9.00
  • Reduced: €6.50 For residents of Rome Capital and the metropolitan area (upon presentation of a valid document proving residence):
  • Full price: €6.50
  • Reduced: €5.50 Capitolini Card Valid for 7 days, includes Capitolini Museums + Centrale Montemartini, with the additional charge for ongoing exhibitions Purchase ONLINE:
  • Full price non-resident: €13.50
  • Reduced non-resident: €11.50 For residents of Rome Capital and the metropolitan area (upon presentation of a valid document proving residence):
  • Full price: €12.50
  • Reduced: €10.50 Source: www.centralemontemartini.org

Practical Information

And now, some tips to make your visit even more special. First, wear comfortable shoes. The halls of the Centrale Montemartini are spacious and full of surprises, so be prepared to walk. Don’t forget your camera; you’ll be surrounded by a unique mix of artworks and industrial machinery that deserves to be captured. Additionally, take the time to participate in workshops or labs if you have the opportunity. Interactivity is the key to fully experiencing this place, and you might even discover your creative side!

centrale montemartini
centrale montemartini

How to Get to the Montemartini Power Plant

The Montemartini Power Plant is located just steps from the heart of Rome. The nearest metro stop is Ostiense (Line B), and from there, it’s a short walk. For those who prefer the charm of a stroll, the museum is easily accessible on foot from the Ostiense railway station. If you want to know more about Rome, give a look at these resources I created for you:

If you need some help to organise your next trip to Rome or to Italy, send me an email at marianna@theitalianvibes.com. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Xo xo,

Marianna, Your Italian Friend

Download your free guide of Rome!

Sign up and turn your inbox into a portal to the enchanting world of Italy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top