Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art is made up of two venues; MACRO on Via Nizza opened in December 2010 and is the larger of the display spaces; the other branch is in funky, dynamic Testaccio.
Of the two outposts, the branch at Via Nizza is the more impressive. It’s found in a former beer plant, incongruously located in a district of fancy 19th-century apartments. It was restored by French architect Odile Decq and has a gleaming new carapace and a smart interior of charcoal grey. It shows contemporary art from 1960 to date; among the sculptures, photography and installations, some of its important acquisitions include neon artworks by Claire Fontaine and wax artworks by Domenico Bianchi.
The museum has a quality restaurant and in its underground parking lot there are clearly visible remains of an ancient Roman house; it was discovered during the conversion of the factory. The building and art collections at MACRO can be enjoyed on tours of the Eternal City’s latest architectural landmarks, which also take in the innovative art center MAXXI, designed in 2010 by Zaha Hadid.
MACRO Testaccio is found in a former slaughterhouse built in 1888 and is only open to host exhibitions of contemporary works in its two vast, echoing galleries. It features on walking tours of the once working-class district of Testaccio, which is now a jostling, vibrant district that comes alive at night.
MACRO: Via Nizza, 138, Salario-Nomentano, Rome. Open Tue–Sun 10:30am–7pm. Admission adults €11; concessions €8. Buses 38, 80 and 89 run along Via Nizza.
MACRO Testaccio and La Pelanda: Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4, Testaccio, Rome. Open Tue–Sun 2pm–8pm. Admission adults €6; concessions €5. Bus 719 serves Testaccio.
Admission to both museums: adults €13.50; concessions €12.50.