Visiting the Crypta Balbi museum, a seat of the Museo Nazionale Romano, is an informative way to realize how Rome has developed over its ancient buildings and left material traces of its thousand-year old transformation in the urban layering.
The museum collections illustrate the history of the ancient complex of the Crypta Balbi within the city of Rome from the Antiquity throughout the following centuries. The Crypta Balbi was a large porticoed courtyard annexed to the Theatrum Balbi, the theatre built by Lucius Cornelius Balbus the younger and dedicated in 13 BC. Part of the ancient buildings is accessible to visitors: the pavement and the wall of the portico dating to the imperial period, late-antique evidences referring to renovations and reuses as well as medieval structures belonging to the later chiesa di Santa Maria Domine Rose are visible at the lowest-level of the museum.
The archaeological excavations, begun around 1981, have investigated the life of this urban district and have discovered the precious incoming commodities and artistic handicrafts flourished in Rome, especially in that particular period of transition around the Late Antiquity, when the Western Roman Empire dissolved and Rome transformed its appearance entering the Early Middle Ages.
Many items discovered in an archaeological deposit dating to the 7th century are displayed here alongside other contemporary materials coming from the historical collections of several Roman institutions.
You find it here
Opening time: every day 9.00 am - 7.45 pm. Last admission one hour before closing. Closed Mondays; 25 December; 1 January. The archaeological area of Exedra currently is accessible during weekends only to groups of maximum 20 visitors accompanied by a staff member of the museum at following hours: 10.45 am - 11.45 am - 12.45 am - 2.45 pm - 3.45 pm - 4.45 pm (from the last Sunday of October till 15 February the last entrance is at 3.45 pm).
Tickets: 3.50€ - 7.00€
Organization: Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il Museo Nazionale Romano e l'Area Archeologica di Roma
Director: Mirella Serlorenzi