This treasure trove of ancient art is one of Rome's finest museums and a must-see while you're there. Don't miss The Boxer, a Greek bronze statue from the second century BC that was discovered on Quirinal Hill in 1885, or the Dying Niobid, a Greek marble figure from the fourth century BC, both of which are on the ground and first floors of the museum and are very stunning. However, the undeniable centerpiece is the exquisite and brilliantly colored Villa Farnesina and Villa Livia paintings on the second story.
Due to its close vicinity to the Baths of Diocletian, the Palazzo Massimo is also known as the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. The villa, built between 1883 and 1887, is a magnificent Neo-Renaissance palace. Up until 1960, it served as a Jesuit college. In 1981, a portion of it was converted into the National Roman Museum.
The four floors of the museum's Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme are separated into numerous topics and arranged chronologically to house its various exhibitions. A variety of grave jewelry, gems, and Roman coins from various eras are kept in the basement.
The frescoes that were painted on the villas' interior walls paint a clear picture of what a palatial ancient Roman villa would have seemed like. There are private cubicula (bedroom) frescoes depicting mythology, nature, family life, and romantic life as well as delicate landscape pictures from a winter triclinium painted in a dark hue (dining and living area).
The frescoes from Villa Livia, one of the residences of Augustus' wife Livia Drusilla, which date from 30 BC to 20 BC, are particularly beautiful. These fill the whole room and show a paradise garden with a wild tangle of pomegranates, irises, roses, and camomile under a deep blue sky. They once ornamented a summer triclinium that was partially subterranean to offer.
Additionally, the second floor has some exceptionally beautiful floor mosaics and unique inlay work. It is quite amazing how magnificent mosaics covered the flooring of luxurious villas owned by wealthy Romans in the 13th and 14th centuries.
A unique collection of bronze fittings from two ships that were discovered in the 1930s at the bottom of Lake Nemi in Lazio are on show on the first level. Caligula had commissioned the construction of these ornate ships, which the emperor used as floating mansions. The interesting-sounding coin collection in the basement is much more fascinating than you may anticipate, documenting the Roman Empire's propaganda campaign through its coins.
Largo di Villa Peretti 2 Museo Nazionale Romano, 00185 Rome, Italy