One of Rome’s hidden gems, the Pietro Canonica Museum is home to a stellar collection of works by the 19th-century sculptor and musician, all displayed against the backdrop of his luxurious fortress-style villa in the Villa Borghese gardens. Visitors will gain a unique glimpse into the artist's life a century ago.
Canonica was a sculptor and academic born near Turin in 1869. Much feted by the aristocracy in Italy and Europe for his fine sculptural portraits of royalty and nobility, he was given this small but sumptuous "fortezzuola" villa by the city of Rome, and lived there until his death in 1959. The artist's house is now a museum dedicated to his life and work; visit as part of a Villa Borghese bike or Segway tour that also includes the Galleria Borghese, the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre, the Bioparco zoo, and the Pincio Gardens.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The museum’s collection consists primarily of sculptures, but there are other eclectic things to see as well, including Canonica’s smock and beret.
- Large bags and backpacks are not allowed in the museum.
- The museum is partially accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- Flash photography is not allowed inside the museum.
How to Get There
The museum is located on Viale Pietro Canonica in Villa Borghese park. The nearest metro station is Flaminio; the nearest bus stop is at Piazzale Brasile.
When to Get There
Because of its location in Villa Borghese park, the museum makes for a great stop on a nice day. It’s closed on Mondays.
The Pietro Canonica Museum Collection
Visitors can see original models for Canonica’s bronze and marble statues, as well as sketches and drawings, in the artist’s ground-floor studio. Upstairs, you can explore private apartments furnished with antiques, Flemish tapestries, and paintings by 19th- and 20th-century Italian artists such as Giovanni Battista Quadrone and Vittorio Cavalleri.