A hot, sticky Sunday in Rome, what to do? Normally I would be indoors near a fan, with cold drinks, but we have intrepid guests, and they suggested Centrale Montemartini. Excellent choice. It is the old thermoelectric power plant, with selected marble pieces from the Capitoline Museum. Really interesting juxtaposition. We trekked over the new Garbatella bridge, trying to ignore the heat and softening asphalt, and soon reached the museum.
Turbine hall. The Montemartini power plant was built in 1912 in Ostiense, which was an industrial neighborhood situated just south of the pyramid and Rome’s historic center. The building was the first public electricity plant in Rome, amd was in use until the mid 1960s.
The temporary exhibit of Capitoline pieces here, beginning in 1997 was highly popular, with the contrast of industrial machinery and classic sculpture. From 2005 it has been a branch of the Capitoline Museum, and you can buy a combined ticket for both if needed. It is well organized, with signage in Italian and English. Amazing hunting mosaics in one of the halls, too. You can read about how they found some of these when building a tram line, or a road, many of the places we know today around Rome. Many of the heads were missing noses (fair enough, since some were from 200 BC) and the children in our group were thrilled to find one that looked like Voldemort.
One of the many pieces. I confess, I cannot remember which. The spaces are amazing, and quiet. Wonderfully air-conditioned too.
See Centrale Montemartini website: http://en.centralemontemartini.org
It is on Via Ostiense 106, between metro Piramide and metro San Paolo.
Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday: 9.00 – 19.00
24 and 31 December: 9.00 – 14.00. Last admission 1/2 hour before closing time.
Well worth a visit!