Amid Rome’s ancient ruins and Renaissance masterpieces, MAXXI—Italy’s national contemporary art museum—is a refreshing change of pace. The museum includes a space dedicated to art and another to architecture, but is perhaps most famous for the striking building itself, designed by prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.
The National Museum of 21st-Century Art (Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo) has a large permanent collection of paintings, installations, video art, and photography dating from 1970 to today, and also holds temporary exhibitions highlighting artists from around the globe. Given its location on the outskirts of the city center, tourists often overlook MAXXI, offering art buffs the chance to stroll its dynamic 300-foot-long (90-meter) galleries at leisure and admire architect Zaha Hadid’s maze-like structure featuring soaring open spaces and skylights.
MAXXI is often a photo stop on Rome architecture tours, and you can peek at its spacious galleries inside to fully appreciate the building’s beauty.
Things to Know Before You Go
- MAXXI is wonderful for fans of contemporary and modern art.
- The museum has a restaurant and a café open for meals and snacks, and a bookstore.
- Large bags and backpacks must be left in the cloakroom.
- Photography is not allowed in the galleries.
- The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
MAXXI is located on Via Guido Reni 4a in Rome’s Flaminio neighborhood. Take metro line A to Piazzale Flaminio, where you board the line 2 tram to Apollodoro. If arriving by bus, lines 168 and 910 take you to the Reni/Flaminia stop, just a 5-minute walk from the museum, or take line 53 to De Coubertin/Palazzetto dello Sport.
When to Get There
The museum is open 11am to 7pm Tuesday through Sunday with extended hours (until 10pm) on Thursday; it is closed on Monday, Christmas, and May 1. A bit north of the center of Rome, MAXXI is never as crowded as the city’s more famous museums, and serves as a welcome respite from the crush of tourists in the summer months.
The late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and is known for her curving, organic-shaped buildings. MAXXI took about 10 years to complete and is considered among Hadid’s finest works.