There are beautiful museums in Italy. It is a very complex task to select only five, which will leave out identities and experiences of territories told by museums in an equally exceptional way.

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International Museum Day

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Today is International Museum Day and all activities carried out for this initiative by ICOM (International Council of Museums) will focus on rethinking the Museums of the future to meet the challenges of the present.

Covid has disrupted our lives and also the activities of museums: this event thus draws attention to the importance of our cultural life and how necessary museums are for it. 

Under the theme 'The Future of Museums: Regenerate and Reinvent', International Museum Day 2021 (IMD 2021) invites museums, museum professionals and their communities to develop, imagine and share new practices of (co)creation of value, new business models for cultural institutions and innovative solutions for today's social, economic and environmental challenges.

Visit Italy Top 5

Italy, as we know, is certainly a country rich in aesthetic beauty. It also possesses an enormous and complex historical and artistic heritage accumulated over centuries of history and exchanges between peoples, not necessarily commercial, but also and above all human, technical and social. Its dominant position on the Mediterranean, at the physical center of Europe, is one of the many factors that has enabled this extraordinary 'collection'.

Possessing so many works, archaeological finds, unique collections, relics, and monuments on its territory has resulted in the development of museums and other institutions from the earliest times. 

They were created to preserve, making known, and displaying this great beauty, an increasingly complex responsibility which every museum in the world must fulfill. 

As far as Italy is concerned, in addition to beautiful works, there are also beautiful museums. It is a very complex task to select only five of them, which will leave out the identities and experiences of territories told by museums in an equally exceptional way. But we at VisitItaly are not afraid of even the most mammoth task

5 - National Gallery of Modern Art | Rome


Choosing a museum of modern and contemporary art for Rome may seem unrepresentative compared to museums of ancient art such as Palazzo Barberini, Palazzo Corsini, Galleria Borghese, or others. It should be remembered, however, that this museum has an enormous encyclopedic value: in fact, it contains precious masterpieces ranging from the late eighteenth century to new trends in the visual arts, passing through the great historical avant-garde of the twentieth century with the presence of the great names in the history of art such as Canova, Klimt, Van Gogh, Picasso, and many others. As with the Naples Archaeological Museum, it plays an enormous role in providing knowledge of contemporary art in the Rome area. A cross-section of Italy, Europe, and the world that comes together through a language of discovery and freedom as unique as that of art. 

4 - Bargello National Museum | Florence


Certainly less famous than the Uffizi, the Gallerie dell'Accademia, and the museums of Palazzo Pitti, but still of inestimable value. From the point of view of the collection, it contains mostly sculptures. The period that it masterfully recounts is that of the Renaissance, with all the complex personalities who lived through it: Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Verrocchio, Della Robbia.

Visitors to the museum can understand the complex aesthetic mechanisms that mankind developed in the transition from the Middle Ages to a more modern age. Moreover, the human-scale architecture of the Palazzo Della Podestà will surely leave you speechless. 

3 - Gallerie dell'Accademia | Venice


This is the museum par excellence of Venetian painting, but not only. As well as housing the most famous collections of Venetian and Veneto paintings, the Accademia Gallery also houses sculptures and graphic works, including those by foreign painters.

The permanent collection is of great importance for the history of Italian and western art. Some of the artists present are: Tintoretto, Titian, Canaletto, Giorgione, Giovanni Bellini, Jacopo Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio, Cima da Conegliano, Rosalba Carriera and Paolo Veronese.

To visit this museum is to delve into and admire one of Italy's most illustrious artistic eras. A riot of art and culture to celebrate and learn about. Recommended during a visit to the City. 

2 - Museo del Novecento | Milan


Compared to other Italian cities, Milan certainly has a more contemporary soul, even though it has museums with ancient works of art in its territory, such as the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana or even hosting Leonardo da Vinci's, Last Supper, in the refectory of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. From a museum point of view, it is, therefore, a lively and stimulating city. Among its collections, the Museo del Novecento certainly excels, with its collection of great masterpieces of the Italian 20th century, including: "Unique Forms in the Continuity of Space" by Umberto Boccioni, works by De Chirico, Morandi, Balla, Modigliani, and especially "The Fourth State" by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo. This museum has "everything": an extraordinary collection, a crazy connection with the territory also thanks to its architecture, excellent communication, and an open eye towards the future. Highly recommended.

Photo Credit Di Paolobon140 - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0,

1 - National Archaeological Museum | Naples


The Archaeological Museum of Naples is undoubtedly one of the most important archaeological museums in the country, with a collection that is, to say the least, incredible, super-specialized in Roman history; this is also thanks to the archaeological finds from the nearby cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabia.

The latter is joined by the riches of the Farnese Collection, an enormous Bourbon legacy that includes not only artifacts, but also furnishings, epigraphs, coins, ancient texts, as well as paintings and sculptures (preserved, however, at the Capodimonte Museum, another very important museum in Naples).

The museum should be ranked in the top 5 Italian museums for what it possesses, but the main reason for this is another: its connection and relationship with the city. One of the most exciting aspects of this institution is undoubtedly its "contemporary" relationship with the city.Over the years, the museum has done a very important job of collaborating with the entire territory, of communicating and teaching, to provide a place of artistic and archaeological knowledge.

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