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From the collections of ancient sarcophagi and statuary housed in portions of an ancient Roman bath complex to wall frescoes in their original sites that span from the time of Nero through the Baroque era, you'll find Rome's museums and palaces filled with unimaginable treasures.Although many fine works of art can be admired as you visit the churches, when you see them in the museums, galleries, and palaces, you can compare styles and artists more easily and trace themes and artistic movements as they evolve.On the walls and ceiling on the palace's garden loggia are scenes from the myth of Cupid and Psyche, painted by Raphael and his students Giulio Romano and Francesco Penni in 1517.The figures in the spandrels are by Raphael himself.Designed by Baldassare Peruzzi, it was decorated by famous artists, including Raphael, Giulio Romano, Sebastiano del Piombo, and others, creating what is considered one of the most harmonious examples of an Italian Renaissance palace.Popes, cardinals, princes, and diplomats were entertained here in princely fashion; illustrious guests were served on silver dishes bearing their own coat-of-arms, which they threw into the nearby Tiber after the banquet (though they were caught by a net for later retrieval).

The recently restored equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius that was previously in front of the church of St.

Filling much of the Vatican Palace, the Vatican Museums contain some of the world's greatest art collections, begun in 1506 by Pope Julius II.

Following the Renaissance ideals, he began collecting ancient works of art, and over the centuries, Popes added artworks presented to them and items related to the work of the Roman Catholic Church.

The central complex of the baths, including the 90-meter-long tepidarium, was preserved by being incorporated into the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, designed by Michelangelo.

Building continued after Michelangelo's death, and it was later restored and redecorated several times.


  1. The Sacra Di San Michele, symbol of Piedmont, is in Val di Susa, 40 km from Turin. A place that inspired Umberto Eco for "The Name of the Rose".

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