Friday, 31 January 2014

Palazzo Massimo Treasures

Palazzo Massimo can be found near Termini Station at Largo di Villa Peretti. It makes a refreshing change from the major sights as it is never mobbed by tourists and yet it contains many treasures just waiting to be discovered.Here are five of my favourites.

The statue of Emperor Augustus as Pontifex Maximus shows Augustus as head of the Roman priesthood. A rather good looking guy I think!

'The Boxer' may not be as handsome as Augustus but this bronze figure is strangely moving in its realism. The wounds that have been inflicted during many a match are easy to see as you move around the statue.

The bronze fittings from the Ships of Nemi give an indication of how splendid these ships must have been. Built by Emperor Caligula in the first century AD, they were believed to have been used as huge floating pleasure palaces. The figurehead of Medusa is quite scary!


This beautiful pavement mosaic of Dionysus demonstrates how wealthy Romans decorated their homes, as do the frescoes that also can be seen here. Indeed my fifth and absolute favourite treasure in this amazing museum are the frescoes from the garden room of the Prima Porta Villa. They are displayed in such a way that you feel that you could be in the actual villa which was a favourite retreat of Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. The frescoes themselves contain more than two dozen kinds of birds and over twenty botanical species. Best of all it is quite likely that you will have this treasure all to yourself.

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