Before Thomas and I arrived in Rome I searched for museums and galleries we could visit via the internet. There was one that instantly grabbed me and I knew I had to go there. It had been a while since I'd been to a good exhibition and my soul was crying out for some beauty. The museum I speak of is La Galleria Nazionale D'arte Moderna (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art).
Unfortunately for Thomas this was a working day so he only had two days to explore Rome, so we were limited as to what we could see. When I mentioned the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, he seemed unsure. Thomas loves the arts and probably knows more than I do, but he's not too keen on the more contemporary abstract work. Fortunately for both of us he agreed and we made our way there on our first day in Rome.
The museum is off the beaten track and is a bit of a walk to get to, but as Thomas and I found it was worth every step. Our journey took us across the Villa Borghese gardens which was just relaxing. With it's lush landscape and a huge variety of trees, I didn't feel as if I was in the centre of Rome. It was a sanctuary.
The gardens are vast and we did loose our way a few times but we eventually made it to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna. The building is impressive, I wasn't expecting it to be so big. This got me even more excited. I was just itching to see what was inside.
The museum has a light and airy feel to it. It's a great space. We unloaded our bags by putting them in a locker and were ready to explore.
Both Thomas and I were surprised and delighted with their collection. It was one of the best collections of art work I've ever seen. It houses a large collection of art from Italian masters of the 19th and 20th century to the present day. They have the most gorgeous paintings there including some stunning romantic landscape paintings.
They also have the most amazing collection of sculptures. They were alive and you can feel their emotions. They were truely remarkable.
Here is Hercule et Lichas by Antonio Canova. It tells the story of Hercules who was accidentally poisoned by his wife. She asked Lichus to deliver a robe to Hercules which had the blood of centaur Nessus. She hoped of restoring their love for one another. The blood from the robe seeps in to Hercules skin causing intense pain. He calls for Lichas demanding who gave him the robe, but in his pain he grabs Lichas and throws him over the cliff. The drama is captured perfectly in this large sculpture. I could feel the strength and rage of Hurcules and see the terror in Lichas's eyes.
The museum also has more contemporary pieces including Les trois âges by Gustav Klimt.
It's so easy to spend many hours in this gorgeous museum. They also have a great café serving a variety of food, and they have the most delicious non-alcoholic fruit cocktails. They were yummy.
If you're in Rome and want to get away from the hustle and bustle, head towards the Villa Borghese gardens and visit the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna. It is a hidden gem.