Museo Centrale Montemartini
The dark frames of the power generating equipment are lit by the radiance of white marble masterpieces.
Pressure valves and temperature gauges stand side by side with the living faces of the Romans of past ages.
The noise of the machinery can be heard no more, but the encounter with the past is like a vibration flooding all rooms.
Towering machinery, whose relentless motion and grinding noise appear to have just stopped only minutes ago, casts its shadows on the marble shapes lying beside it. And voices seem to arise from the marble mouths, sculpted arms seem to stretch out to the machines belonging to another era, to a different age. What communication might take place in this extraordinary museum, during closing time, between the Gods of the Romans and the glass-and-iron eyes of the heavy equipment which, until a century ago, supplied the city of Rome with the sacred revelation of electricity? Today, when you walk the rooms and look at the levers, ducts and indicators, somehow you feel that the massive power of the industrial gear is soothed and relieved by the caressing presence of the marble beings, gently allaying the rage of the metal giants for having being silenced forever. No place is like this. Just listen, and you will hear the words being exchanged in a fantastic dialogue between times which are so distant, and yet now so close.
One of the joys of Rome is its ability to make you feel as if there is a place that has spent centuries accumulating layers of beauty and history, patiently waiting just for you to arrive. [In the Centrale Montemartini] is a tranquil and extraordinary lovely statue of a muse, possibly Polymnia, wrapped in a shawl, leaning on a column. Nearby sat a young woman, a visitor to the museum, alone, studying the statue. She remained there for the entire length of our visit undisturbed, contemplative, peaceful, enjoying the sort of experience that one can have in these less heavily populated but nonetheless remarkable secret corners of Rome
Words from a contemporary Grand Tour
Francine Prose, The New York Times, Sep 2013
Visitor information
Opening hours:

Ticket price:
Official website:
Visiting tips:
not far from the Piramide Cestia, on the Via Ostiense
Via Ostiense, 106 - Rome
Tuesday to Sunday 09.00-19.00
Closed on Mondays
6.5 euro (5.5 euro special prices)
You will meet many elegant pieces of sculpture and art in the museum, with striking life in them