A stone's throw from the Termini Station, all the hustle of the living city calms down and lets the senses awaken at the Museo Nazionale Romano alle Terme di Diocleziano. One of the four seats of the National Roman Museum instituted 127 years ago, on the 7th February 1889, this complex is a refined haven nestled in the imposing remains of the Baths of Diocletian, the largest baths complex of Ancient Rome, opened to the public in 2014 after the recent restoration works lasted 6 years.
The sound of the footsteps in the yielding gravel blends in the gush of the water, while walking across a gate, an arbor laying on columns, among fragments of ancient sculptures, a beautiful fountain, lush trees and so high palms: this is the garden which embraces the visitor entering the Museo Nazionale Romano alle Terme di Diocleziano.
The 6 years long restoration process, officially ended in 2014 to celebrate the bimillenial of Augustus’ death, restituted to visitors a widened visit path enriched with multimedia and educational materials. This is also a path trough History: it develops from the remains of Ancient Rome, that are the newly accessible majestic spaces of the Baths of Diocletian like part of the Natatio (the big open-air pool) and the adjacent Aula VIII, then through the Renaissance Chiostro piccolo della Certosa di Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Chiostro grande di Michelangelo together with the Giardino dei Cinquecento, finally up to the three floors of the 19th century museum building.
This composite museum displays various gatherings of Antiquities, including one of the richest and important collections of epigraphs in the section dedicated to the written communication in the Roman world belonging to the Museo Epigrafico (Epigraphic Section). Moreover, the Museo Protostorico (Proto-history of the Latin Peoples Section) set up at the second floor of the Chiostro di Michelangelo features the most ancient archaeological materials coming from the Latium region.
The wide rooms of the central complex were converted by Michelangelo Buonarroti to the building of the basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, then linked to the annexed Carthusan Monastery, which rose on the other spaces of the ancient baths, equipped with the Charterhouse and two cloisters, the “chiostro piccolo” and the imposing “chiostro grande” (also called “Chiostro di Michelangelo).