Are you an art history enthusiast? Undertake a wonderful grand tour of Italian museums, one for each region, with Visit Italy.

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Are you an art history enthusiast? Would you like to discover the marvellous masterpieces preserved in Italian museums and created by the great masters, famous painters, and sculptors that make up the immense Italian cultural heritage? Italy has a constellation of prestigious public and private museum institutions that exhibit, preserve, and enhance a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and artefacts created over millennia. Visiting the fascinating exhibition halls of the Italian museums, set up with skilful lighting effects, innovative devices, and cutting-edge immersive technologies, from augmented reality to touch screens, you can benefit from immersive, interactive, and multimedia experiences to contemplate the works of extraordinary beauty they house in minute detail.

Every region is rich in art, history, culture, and wonders to admire and cherish: get ready to embark on an enthralling tour through Italian museums to discover the extraordinary artistic and figurative productions created by human ingenuity. Of course, it will be a long journey, so brace yourselves. Be amazed by the beauty of Italian museums and collections!

20 Italian museums to visit at least once to learn about an extraordinary heritage

Unmissable Italian museums

Renaissance painters, classical sculptures, 20th century design, but also science, medicine, even food and much, much more. Italy, with more than four thousand museums of all types and sizes, is certainly the place to be for those who love culture.

Not just Rome or Florence, therefore, because every city and every village has its small or large places of knowledge. Let's leave immediately for a journey through the twenty Italian museums to visit at least once.

Visit Rome's museums with Rome Pass

Italian museums in Piedmont: Egyptian Museum, Turin

Italian museums in Piedmont

Did you know that the road to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin? That said one of the most influential archaeologists in history, was Jean-François Champollion, the father of Egyptology.

When the museum opened in 1824, Champollion realized the great wealth of artifacts that the place already possessed. Today, this is one of the most important museums in Italy, but also one of the best in the world in terms of Egyptian culture and history: it is incredible from every point of view, both conservative and educational. Not coming here would be a mistake!

Tips: if you are short on time for your visit read How to visit the Egyptian Museum of Turin with little time to spare.

Book your visit at the Egiptian Museum

Italian museums in Lombardy: Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Italian museums in Lombardy

The city of Milan is a veritable treasure chest of art, culture, and museum collections. There are many museums to visit, but on top of all, we recommend visiting the famous Pinacoteca di Brera, with masterpieces by Mantegna, Caravaggio or Hayez. A plunge into ancient and modern painting with so many schools of painting represented.

The museum is a reference point for thousands of artists and shares its location with the Academy of Fine Arts and the Braidense Library. If you love art and it is your first time in Milan, this is the right place to visit!

Tips: if you love art discover the 5 most important art museums in Milan.

Visit Milan and its attractions with the Milano City Card

Friuli - Venezia Giulia: National Archaeological Museum, Aquileia (UD)

National Archaeological Museum, Aquileia (UD)

An amazing museum with a harmonious and rational subdivision on three floors that houses a large number of exhibits, including precious and ancient mosaics. The collection of furnishings from the nearby excavation areas with coins, cameos, and jewelry of various kinds is interesting. A fascinating place to visit, located on the north-eastern edge of Italy. Simply an enchantment!

Veneto: Academy Gallery, Venice

Vitruvian Man, Academy Gallery, Venice

Veneto, like Lombardy, is also rich in extraordinary museums in the cities of Venice, Padua, Verona, or even in the small Bassano del Grappa, Caorle, and Altino; in short, there is no shortage of collecting.

For this quick tour, we have chosen the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, a place of endless culture that will show you all the beauty of the great painting of the Venetian school from Giovanni Bellini to Tintoretto, from Titian to Canaletto, passing through masterpieces and Italian and foreign masters. 

This is just one among the many museums of Venice, but here you will also be able to admire Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawing, Vitruvian Man, is it not worth the price of the ticket alone?

Discover the best of Venice with Venice Pass

Valle d'Aosta: Museum of the Alps, Bard Fort (AO)

Museo delle Alpi, Forte di Bard

Inside the Fort of Bard, a famous early 19th-century castle in the province of Aosta stands the Museum of the Alps. A museum that explores and recounts the splendid interaction between man and the mountains with rooms dedicated to Alpine flora, fauna, and climate with a focus on the transformations from ancient to modern. Not to be missed! 

Trentino-South Tyrol: Mart, Trento, and Rovereto

Mart- Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Trentino-South Tyrol is not only mountains and breathtaking landscapes but also museums and contemporary art. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has sites in Rovereto and Trento, and also includes the Archivio del '900 and the home of Fortunato Depero.

Today, the Mart is one of the most renowned contemporary art museums in Italy, and his permanent collection offers an overview of the history of the avant-garde in Italy. It will leave you speechless, you'll see.

Liguria : Galata Sea Museum, Genoa

Galata Sea Museum, Genoa

In Liguria there is a place that's probably the most unmissable museum in Italy for those who love the sea. It is the largest and most innovative sea museum in the entire Mediterranean. 5 floors of exhibition on all the themes that revolve around man's relationship with the sea.

Boats, climate, tools and even migratory routes will no longer have any secrets for you. For those who find themselves visiting Genoa it is a fundamental stop, in addition to the nearby Aquarium, obviously.

Book a visit at Genoa's Galata Sea Museum

Emilia Romagna: Mambo, Bologna

Mambo- Museum of Modern Art, Bologna

The city of Bologna has many things to offer, but one of them is Museum of Modern Art. A structure that retraces the history of the arts in Italy from the post-World War II period to the most recent visual experiments.

A museum that is educational and open to the city, and also a modern cultural district that actively collaborates with all the cultural institutions in the city. If it did not already exist, it would have to be invented!

Explore Bologna by bus

Tuscany: Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is Italy's most famous and most visited museum.

To include it in this list is probably too mainstream, but not to do so would be a crime. However, Florence and the whole of Tuscany are particularly rich in museums and places to visit, even though the Uffizi has a unique charm. It may be the privileged location of the museum, overlooking the Arno and Piazza della Signoria, or it may be its infinite masterpieces that will keep your eyes glued to the beauty. A place to visit at least once in a lifetime!

Tips: are you short on time? Find out how to visit the Uffizi Gallery.

Buy the tickets to the Uffizi Gallery

Marche: Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

A wonderful ducal palace commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro, the duke who made Urbino in the Marche region, one of the capitals of the Italian Renaissance. It is in this context that one of the most authoritative galleries on the European scene stands, with masterpieces by Raphael and Piero della Francesca all to admire!

Visit Marche's National Gallery

Umbria: Burri Collection, Città di Castello

Burri Collection, Città di Castello

Spread over two venues, Palazzo Albizzini and the former tobacco factory in Città di Castello, the Burri Collection offers the most comprehensive exhibition on one of the masters of 20th-century painting.

In this ex-industrial shed, you can view all of his great painting cycles, while in Palazzo Abizzini in the historic center, you can see all of his sketches, sculptural, and set design works. Modernity passes through Umbria!

Latium: Palazzo Barberini National Gallery of Ancient Art, Rome

Palazzo Barberini National Gallery of Ancient Art

Palazzo Barberini is one of the symbols of Roman Baroque, an enormous structure commissioned by Pope Urban VII and finished by the most influent artists of the Italian 17th century, from Bernini to Borromini, from Maderno to Pietro da Cortona.

The latter also created one of the most striking frescoes in the city: the Triumph of Divine Providence, which can be admired inside the museum. There are also hundreds of masterpieces of absolute value, with a great variety of artistic schools of all times. Roma Caput Artis!

Book a visit at Palazzo Barberini

Campania: Capodimonte Museum, Naples

Capodimonte Museum, Naples

One of the most beautiful picture galleries in Europe with masterpieces of inestimable value like Caravaggio's The Flagellation of Christ, inside one of the eighteenth-century Bourbon residences.

A true temple of the arts where painting, sculpture, decoration, and much more come together in an ensemble of unparalleled beauty. The museum is also set in a enormous park, which has been returned to its former glory in recent years. You have to come to Naples to lose yourself in this marvel!

Find out how to visit Capodimonte Museum

Abruzzo: Abruzzo National Museum, L'Aquila

Abruzzo National Museum, L'Aquila

One of the italian museums not to be missed because it's unique. It's housed in the recently restored rooms of the former municipal slaughterhouse in L'Aquila, a place that since 2015 has given new light to the rich permanent collection, previously kept in the historic 'Spanish Fort' that was severely damaged during the terrible 2009 earthquake.

The collection is extensive, ranging from archaeological finds to wooden sculptures of a religious nature. If you want to get an insight into the centuries-old culture of Abruzzo, you absolutely must visit this museum!

Molise: National Museum of the Palaeolithic, Isernia

National Museum of the Palaeolithic, Isernia

A small museum that narrates the fascinating story of prehistoric artefacts in Molise. A place where exhibition and didactics go hand in hand, ideal for children and fascinating for adults.

Several areas tell the story of the integration of the environment with the first hominids, who later became Homo Sapiens Sapiens. A fascinating and entertaining museum, what are you waiting for to visit it?

Basilicata: Matera National Museum

Matera National Museum

Museum with collections representing agriculture in the Neolithic period and bronzes, vases, and statues from ancient centuries. A journey through history combining the old National Archaeological Museum with the National Gallery of Medieval and Modern Art. Archaeology and great paintings from local schools to contemporary art. A unique itinerary in a unique city waiting to be discovered.

Discover Matera's secrets

Apulia: National Archaeological Museum, Altamura

National Archaeological Museum, Altamura

An Apulian museum is rich in artifacts that tell the story of the peopling of this territory in prehistoric times. This museum in addiction shows us one of the most important finds in the history of Italian paleontology, the Altamura Man, found in the Lamalunga cave, and that today allows us to learn more about the origins of man and significantly deepens the studies on Neanderthal man and his spread. If you want to take a dip into the past, run to Altamura! 

Calabria: National Archaeological Museum, Reggio Calabria

National Archaeological Museum, Reggio Calabria

An exceptionally museum that preserves one of the most famous archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, the Riace bronzes. An unicum in the history of the arts, these are original Magna Graecia bronze sculptures, which the sea has preserved for centuries to this day. 

In addition to the two warriors, the museum contains pieces of pre-Roman Italian history that alone are worth a visit.  

An exciting museum that alone is worth the price of the ticket for a stay in southern Italy. You will find it in Reggio Calabria!

Sicily: Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo

Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis

A gallery located in a historic building in Palermo's Kalsa district, one of the city's liveliest and most iconic. Not to be missed are the great fresco 'The Triumph of Death' and the famous 'Annunciation' by Antonello da Messina, a unique painter who brought innovation and modernity to the entire Italian peninsula.

If you want to understand Sicily's immense cultural and artistic heritage, you can start with this museum, a pearl to admire!

Explore Palermo by bus

Sardinia: Museum of Prehistoric Statuary, Laconi (OR)

Museum of Prehistoric Statuary

Menhirs from the Ancient Greek for 'big stone', are megalithic sculptures from prehistoric times, mostly dating from the Neolithic period.

In Sardinia, there is a unique place among the italian museums to admire this type of archaeological find, and that is the Museum of Prehistoric Statuary in Palazzo Aymerich. A different Sardinia, far from the sea and the usual clichés, that will let you discover the Sardinian hinterland and the thousand-year history of the island.

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