Museums of Italy – Updated 2024

Italy has something for every taste, be it art, architecture, food, fashion, and anything in between! However, the museums of Italy are something else. Since the beginnings of art have happened right in the heart of Italy, it is not a surprise that it is home to so many galleries. And each of them is special in its own way! 

If you love art and want to see Italy’s masterpieces, I have shared a list of the best and most fascinating Italian museums, so you can easily decide what to see during your trip. Have a look below of a variety of museums Italy has to offer.

Table of Contents

Museums in Rome 


Borghese Gallery and Gardens, Rome 

One of the most famous museums in Italy is right in the heart of the capital Rome. Borghese Gallery is not only home to sculptures and paintings but also an attraction with otherworldly gardens. Visiting the museum will allow you to admire the artworks of renowned artists like Bernini and Caravaggio. Additionally, you will get to enjoy the lavish greenery of the gallery in the centre of Rome. But make sure to get your tickets in advance! This is the gem of the museums of Italy, and everyone wants to take a peek. 

Villa Borghese | Rome

A view of Villa Borghese where you will find the Borghese Gallery

Vatican Museum, Rome 

The Vatican Museum is actually part of a state within a city. It is a remarkable place where you will get to see brilliant and one-of-a-kind artworks. The museum is home to the spectacular Sistine Chapel – Michelangelo’s masterpiece admired by millions of people. This work of art is placed on the Vatican Museum’s ceiling, making it one of the most visited museums in Italy. Going to Rome and not visiting the Vatican would be a mistake. Therefore, ensure to get your ticket on time! 

Vatican Museum | Museum of Italy | Rome | Rome Museum
Vatican Museum | Museum of Italy | Rome | Rome Museum

Highlights from the Vatican Museum in Rome 

The Capitoline Museum, Rome

The Capitoline Museum, Rome is one of the most popular museums of Italy and Rome’s oldest complex. It’s located atop the beautiful square Piazza del Campidoglio. In fact, the place occupies two buildings and offers a unique look at Rome’s ancient imperial history.

The museum features a huge collection of ancient Roman and Renaissance art, including paintings, relics, and statuary. Some of its most famous pieces include Bust of Commodus, Dying Gaul, Medusa, Capitoline Venus, and the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius.

Fun fact: the two buildings are connected by an underground passageway, which is why people also call it Underground Galleria Lapidaria.

Ara Pacis Museum, Rome

The Roman Senate commissioned Ara Pacis in 13 BC. Also known as the Altar of Peace, it was built to celebrate the soon-to-be emperor Augustus, who is known for defeating the barbarians. This victory marked the beginning of Pax Romana, which, if you don’t know, is a 200-year golden age where art and architecture thrived. Ara Pacis Museum is truly one of the most famous museums of Italy, and it has a modern pavilion designed by the American architect Richard Meier

The Ara Pacis | Museums in Italy
The Ara Pacis inside the Museum

Castel Sant’ Angelo, Mausoleum

Castel Sant’ Angelo, Mausoleum, is an architectural masterpiece in the Mausoleum in Rome. It’s one of the most famous archaeological sites in Rome, constantly attracting visitors with its striking beauty. Tourists love to take pictures of the carved walls, amazing sculptures, prints and in-depth paintings. Another striking feature is that the building has five floors built in a spiral-like shape. So, when visiting Rome, don’t forget to spend some time admiring the historic beauty of this place.

Castel Sant’ Angelo | Rome

Museums in Florence

Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi, Florence 

The gallery Uffizi is a place you must visit when exploring Florence, especially because it is one of the most popular in the country! Uffizi offers fascinating artwork with splendid features. In addition, you will see works of art in different forms – everything from Roman art statues to mediaeval paintings and spectacular ceiling decorations. It is a place where you can see the works of the greats, such as Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and many more. In other words, if you want to admire real art, you must visit Uffizi!

La Galleria Dell’ Accademia, Florence

La Galleria Dell’ Accademia is one of the most visited museums in Italy. Florence is known as a city of art, so naturally, you already expect to explore many museums. However, you should definitely not skip this one when exploring the city. You will get to see different forms of masterpieces, from sculptures and paintings to musical instruments and tapestries. Every corner of the gallery breathes art, so missing out on it would be a mistake, especially if you admire great artists, such as Michelangelo and Botticelli.

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) | Statue of David

Pitti Palace, Florence 

If you want to see most of the Tuscan art in one place, you need to explore Pallazzio Pitti in Florence. The fascinating art, architecture and history will take your breath away. You will learn about the history of three dynasties that had hold of this gorgeous palace, and you will certainly go back in time with splendid scenery. In addition, you will get to enjoy the spectacular gardens that make this palace an ultimate beauty. 


Images of the Pitti Palace in Florence (courtesy of

Leonardo da Vinci Museum, Florence

As the name suggests, the Leonardo da Vinci Museum is home to the greatest artworks of all time. It’s yet another popular museum of Italy that’s all about combining science, art, and educational content for visitors. The museum hides all the secrets related to Leonardo da Vinci’s life. It also features many of its well-known paintings, including the Last Supper. An interesting fact about this artwork is that da Vinci used only oils to paint it, which is a technique he invented. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about the painter, then put this museum on your list of must-visit places.

Bargello National Museum

Bargello National Museum is yet another visit-worthy museum in Florence, which I feel you shouldn’t miss out on while you’re in Italy. Tourists admire the museum for its stunning architecture, but what’s so unique about it is that it’s been home to a former Italian leader and even served as a prison back in 1225. For these reasons (and many more), I highly recommend you visit this famous Italian museum.

Museums in Milan

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan 

Pinacoteca di Brera is an art gallery in Milan’s most exquisite district. It is one of the museums of Italy with mysterious features which intrigue your imagination. The museum holds some of the best artworks of Hayez, Rafaello, and many other art giants. Both the masterpieces and the streets of Brera will hypnotise you with their uniqueness and authenticity. 
Pinacoteca Brera | Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker
Pinacoteca di brera | Museums in Italy

The entrance to the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. When you enter, you will be greeted by a Statue of Neopolian as Mars the Peacemaker.

Museo del Novecento, Milan

If you are visiting Milan, you should not miss out on the chance to explore Museo del Novecento. As the name suggests, it is a museum that displays contemporary art, and it is found right next to the Milan Cathedral. It is considered one of the best museums in Italy, featuring numerous collections of renowned artists. Whether you want to see the masterpieces of Picasso and Matisse or witness the colourful world of Andy Warhol, this is the place you are looking for. Plus, you will get to see impressive works of art by many Italian painters. The admission tickets are fairly reasonable, so it would be a pity not to visit the museum when in Milan.

Novecento Museum | Milan | Italy Travel
Novecento Museum | Milan | Italy Travel

Of of the displays at the Novecento Museum in Milan. This Museum also has a great view of the Milan Cathedral

Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan

The Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan is a cultural gem that beckons scholars and art enthusiasts. This historic library was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1609 and is a testament to Milan’s rich intellectual heritage. Housed within a stunning neoclassical building, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana boasts a vast collection of manuscripts, rare books, and artworks. One of its most prized possessions is Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Codex Atlanticus, the most extensive compilation of his intricate drawings and notes. The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, an art gallery within the complex, further enhances the experience with masterpieces by renowned artists such as Caravaggio and Raphael. A visit to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana offers a glimpse into the intellectual and artistic legacy that has shaped Milan.

The Entrance to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan and a video of the main room

Museums in Naples

Pompeii, Campania Region 

Something you will definitely want to see when visiting Naples is the outdoor museum of the ancient Roman town – Pompeii. The museum is in the Campania Region, which is really close to the Bay of Naples. It is one of the most famous museums in Italy because it contains the remains of ancient times. Pompeii was actually a small town, which nowadays serves to depict the life people had in the past. The whole museum is built like a maze, and you walk between walls that were once rooms of the ancient Romans. Pompeii has an intriguing story, and witnessing it is a thrilling experience!

Pompeii | Italy
Pompeii | Italy

Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro, Naples

Nestled just next to the Duomo and the Cappella del Tesoro in Naples, you will find this extraordinary museum! Here, you will discover a whole palette of artworks that have been collected over the course of seven centuries. But what makes it special is that it features art pieces and various donations from Popes, Emperors and Kings,  but also other famous and ordinary people. In the rooms below the Treasure Chapel, you can see various busts, statues, jewellery, fine fabrics and, naturally, paintings with immense value.

National Archeological Museum, Naples

If you enjoy learning more about ancient Italian or Roman history, visit the National Archeological Museum in Naples. What makes this place such a famous museum of Italy, amongst others, is the priceless ancient Roman and Greek artefacts that belong to Pompeii and Herculaneum. The 200-year-old museum features brilliant artwork, most of which was made with Italian marble during the ancient era of the Romans and Greeks.

Museums in Venice

Academy Gallery in Venice

You can’t call it a successful trip to Italy if you don’t visit romantic Venice! Once you finish exploring the city canals, head over to the Venice Academy Gallery. This place is one of the greatest museums of Italy, home to many great Venetian works dating back from the 13th to the 18th century. The best part? The artwork this place displays is in chronological order, so you can really see how art has transformed throughout the centuries. Visiting the gallery will allow you to explore the amazing works of Carpaccio, Giorgione, Tintoretto, and Bellini, so don’t miss out on the experience.

Doge Palace, Venice

Doge Palace is located in the romantic city of Venice. It is one of the most famous art galleries in Italy, mainly because of its eye-catching Venetian Gothic designs. The Palace was built more than 700 years ago for the supreme leader of the Venetian Republic. Later, in 1923, it was turned into a museum, and since then, it has served as a popular attraction for art enthusiasts.

Doge Palace | Venice

Museums in Turin

Museo Egizio, Turin

Museo Egizio in Turin is undoubtedly one of the most popular museums in Italy. Dedicated to ancient Egyptian archaeology, it’s a real treat for lovers of Egyptian history. Here, you can explore more than 30,000 artefacts that are more than 3000 years old. Moreover, the impressive gallery attracts more than a million visitors every year. Visitors are mostly attracted by the Statue of Seti II, the Statue of Ramesses II with Amun and Hathor, and the Sarcophagus of Ibi.

The National Museum of Cinema, Turin

The National Museum of Cinema is an Italian motion picture museum in the Mole Antonelliana tower in Turin. Here, you can find a collection of pre-cinematographic devices, film technologies, and items from famous Italian movies. This interesting collection is spread over five floors and includes numerous film posters, stocks and a library. There are more than 300,000 film posters and 12000 movie reels, including 26,000 books related to film.

Mole Antonelliana | Turin

Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Turin

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Turin, Italy, is a haven for automotive enthusiasts. The museum showcases over 200 vehicles that span the entire evolution of the automotive industry. From elegant vintage cars that exude timeless charm to sleek, cutting-edge prototypes, the museum’s exhibits tell the compelling story of the automobile’s evolution over the decades. Visitors can marvel at iconic Italian brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati, each contributing to the nation’s reputation for exquisite craftsmanship and engineering prowess. With its impressive array of vehicles and immersive storytelling, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile offers a journey through Italy’s automotive history. Its a great Museum for both car enthusiasts and those fascinated by the intersection of art and engineering.

Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile | Ferrari | Museums of Italy | Turin
Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile | Fiat | Museums of Italy | Turin

Lavazza Museum, Turin

Nestled in the heart of Turin, the Lavazza Museum offers a delightful exploration into the world of coffee and the iconic Lavazza brand. Opened in 2018, this museum seamlessly blends history, art, and technology to narrate the captivating story of coffee cultivation and the evolution of Lavazza. The museum’s exhibits showcase the brand’s commitment to quality and sustainability, highlighting its global influence. Visitors can experience the art of coffee-making through interactive displays and sensory installations. The Lavazza Museum is not just a homage to coffee; it’s a sensory journey that engages visitors in a dynamic and flavorful exploration of one of Italy’s most beloved beverages.

Other Museums in Italy

Museo Ferrari, Maranello 

When you look for the best museums in Italy, you cannot miss out on the Museo Ferrari in the heart of Maranello town. Even if you are not keen on sports cars, you just need to see this. Here, you will get the chance to learn about the history of Ferrari and how it eventually became one of the most desired cars in the world. Finally, check out the Hall of Fame as well – I bet you haven’t seen luxury such as this!

South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, Bolzano 

South Tyrol Museum of Archeology is another exceptional place you must visit in Italy. The museum depicts life from prehistory, and it provides an amazing experience. Here, you will encounter the famous mummy known by the name Ötzi, the Iceman. He was found in the Similaun Glacier in 1991, and now he and his artefacts are displayed in this intriguing museum. With such interesting things to show, it is no wonder that the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology is one of the most visited museums in Italy.

Our list of Museums in Italy

Now that you have the list of fascinating museums of Italy, you are ready to plan your unforgettable trip. Do not miss out on seeing spectacular things because they will remain in your memory forever. Allow yourself to expand your knowledge with Italian history and beauty!


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