Italy is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The country has a rich history and culture that attracts people from all corners of the globe. It was the birthplace of the Renaissance and the works of Italian artists, painters, and sculptors are renowned for their extreme finesse and aesthetic value. The Italian royal families were also known for their fascination for luxury items collected from different parts of the world. Today, the museums of Italy preserve and protect the rich heritage of the country in the form of artwork, sculptures, royal collectibles, and more. Thus, these museums act as major tourist magnets. The Colosseum and Roman Forum is the most visited museum in Italy with over 6 million visitors per year. The Italian museums receiving the highest number of visitors are mentioned below.
8. The Palace of Venaria
The Palace of Venaria is located near Turin in Venaria Reale. It is a former palace and gardens and a present-day museum. With an area of 80,000 m2 it is one of the world’s biggest palaces. Duke Charles Emmanuel II commissioned the building of this palace in the 17th century to use it as a base for his hunting expeditions. Over the years, it was enlarged to serve as a luxurious residence of the royals of the House of Savoy. The palace building is regarded as a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. A part of the palace today serves as the museum that exhibits the artwork and decoration of the bygone eras. The Palace of Venaria is the 8th most visited museum in Italy having received 580,786 visitors in 2015.
7. The Museo Egizio
The Museo Egizio in Turin, Piedmont, is a museum dedicated to archeology with specialization in Egyptian anthropology and archaeology. Interestingly, although located in Italy, most of the most valuable artifacts of this museum are Egyptian antiquities. Some of the notable collectibles of the Museo Egizio include the Tomb of Kha and of Merit, funerary paraphernalia from the Old Kingdom of Egypt, books of the dead, mummies, and sarcophagi, papyrus writings, etc. The Museo Egizio received 757,961 visitors in 2015.
6. The Porcelain Museum
A unique Italian museum, the Porcelain Museum, is located in the Casino del Cavaliere in the Boboli Gardens in Florence. It was opened in 1973 after several years of research that decided on which collectibles are to be exhibited at the museum. As the name suggests, the museum’s exhibits include priceless porcelain pieces belonging to the royal families of Italy. Each piece is a unique and beautiful work of art. The museum saw 863,535 visitors in 2015.
5. The Mausoleum of Hadrian
Italy’s fifth most visited museum, the Castel Sant’Angelo or the Mausoleum of Hadrian is located in the Parco Adriano of Rome. The Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned the building of this mausoleum from 134 to 139 CE for himself and his family. It was also used as a castle and fortress in the later times by several popes. Today, the castle has been opened to the public as a museum and saw over a million tourists in 2015.
4. Gallery of the Academy of Florence
The Gallery of the Academy of Florence is an art museum most famous for the sculpture of David by Michelangelo. Other artworks by renowned Italian artists are also displayed at the museum. Most of these works are from the period of 1300 to 1600. It is located in the city of Florence and is the country’s second most visited art museum and saw over 1.4 million visitors in 2015.
3. Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is a notable art museum located in the Historic Centre of Florence. The gallery was open to visitors since the 16th century but was formally declared a museum in 1865. The building complex hosting the Uffizi Gallery was built to host the offices of the Florentine magistrates of the 16th century. Priceless works from the Italian Renaissance period are major attractions at this museum. Original works of famous painters like Rembrandt, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci can be seen here attracting nearly 2 million visitors in 2015.
Located in Campania, Italy, Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an excavation museum that is the country’s second most visited museum. Almost 3 million people went to see the Pompeii ruins in 2015. It preserves the ruins of the ancient Roman city of the same name. The city was buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. The sudden eruption killed most of the residents of Pompeii as there was hardly any time to escape. Everything was buried under volcanic debris until they were excavated by archeologists in recent times. The site offers an opportunity to see how humans lived almost 2,000 years back.
1. Colosseum And Roman Forum
The Colosseum is one of Italy’s biggest attractions. It is an oval amphitheater located in the heart of Rome. The Colosseum was constructed between 72 and 80 CE. The Roman Forum refers to the rectangular forum in Rome that is surrounded by the ruins of government buildings of ancient Italy as well as the Colosseum. Both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum bear witness to hundreds of years of Italian history including gladiatorial matches, triumphal processions, public spectacles like mock sea battles and animal hunts, and more. Although not exactly a museum in the strictest sense, these places preserve and protect the buildings and artifacts that are of immense value not just to the Italians but also the entire world.