The MACRO museum, via Nizza and Testaccio: modern art together with urban recovery

If you love architecture, urban recovery, history, culture, art and ideas sharing, the MACRO - Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome - is the right place, in its two branches, via Nizza and Testaccio district.

Activities at the MACRO have always been developing, according to dynamism as a fundament of modernity. Creativity and content get melted, creating expositive, discussing and active initiatives all around the city, from an international point of view. If you can visit the city, you can’t miss MACRO in your tour, as it has a so fascinating and original role.

 The MACRO: a little bit of history

Along the years, the MACRO has been able to create a cultural benchmark in the city: its history is rich and fascinating, as it is so multifaceted and transforming, with a strong identity.

Its history started in the 19th century, however it was originally known as the “Town Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome”. After some historical events, connected to bureaucracy and government changes, it obtained a more definite aspect, in the 21st century: the contemporary art museum was finally born.

Two very important events took place making it what it now is: the City of Rome bought a huge number of works of art at some of the most outstanding Exhibition Halls and the artist Auguste Rodin gave the prestigious “Lady Chest” to the museum, inspiring the idea of making the museum a honour for the city and for the visitors looking for outstanding cultural contents.

From that moment on, there have been many transfers, from Palazzo Caffarelli to the Galleria Nazionale, from Palazzo Braschi to Palazzo delle Esposizioni, according to a modern dynamism, until nowadays.

The MACRO is currently situated in two suggestive and great locations, both ex offices of previous non-artistic projects, so that it is even more interesting, especially if you love architecture, urban recovery and restyling. It is the previous establishment of the famous Peroni brand in Nizza street and an ex slaughterhouse in Testaccio.

The official opening date is the 11th October 2002. Directed by Danilo Escher and designed by the French architect Odile Decq (young, modern and estimated character in the artistic field, thanks to his fresh and cutting-edge style), the Roman Contemporary Art Museum is now an important benchmark for the citizens.


The MACRO in Via Nizza

 In Salario-Nomentano district, via Nizza, where there was the Peroni beer establishment, working until 1971, when the City agreed to get it a site of cultural services for the neighbourhood. Planning the spaces, they also improved it: a contest was announced, then won by the designer Decq, who had been able to solve the problem of space organization (more than 4300 square metres), thanks to his knowledge and dynamicity, creating connections and strategies to link all the parts of the museum in a synergic construction, from the auditorium to the wonderful panoramic terrace-garden, the exhibition rooms and the foyer.

Thanks to the French architect inventive, the stairs, the connections and the passages it does represent Art, creating a fascinating cutting-edge effect. The energy Decq gave it, offered a new aspect to the museum, a greater freshness without missing its historical and experienced standard.

Obviously, it is not only a matter of appearance, there are also other services: there are some panoramic points (as the enormous terrace indeed) to rest, a big room for conferences, a precious bookshop, an elegant and refined restaurant, a coffee bar and out of any positive prevision and there is also a parking, so rare to be found near a museum, especially in a so big city as Rome is.

There are two accommodations: the “Artists accommodations”: the revolutionary and practical Decq created two spaces, for the artists who want to spend some time in Rome, offering one of their works as payment. Their performances are live, so everyone can admire them working, according to an idea of sharing, energy and beauty.


The MACRO in Testaccio

 This location was built in the last 1800s twenty years, after it was a slaughterhouse, moved into a creative, active and young people crowded place. Built by Gioacchino Ersocht, it has always been appreciated for the various activities it hosted, cultural shows, with its classic but original style.

As it has always been full of young people, nowadays the MACRO in Testaccio has two pavilions dedicated to the Architecture University of Rome and to the students of the Academy of Fine Arts.

Spaces have been set in order to represent an idea of no-stop creation, sharing ideas and the spirit of the ancient artist, without however losing an open-minded view of the future.

In the Testaccio pavilion, there is also La Pelanda, the Cultural Production Centre: a project hosted in a 5000 square metres area, where artistic, discussing education activities take place, together with workshops and various exhibitions.

A place for creation and sharing, actually. The huge aisle, the metals, the big glasses offering the external panorama and the lights giving the effect of different perspectives to the visitors make this place really special.


Some practical tips

 If you want to take a cue from its initiatives, get informed about the contribution you can offer or enlarge your contemporary education, MACRO in Testaccio is the right place for you.

Remember it is open just in case of exhibitions, so please get informed before going there, but if you just want to admire the architectural work and dive in the contemporary temptation, you can visit the MACRO in via Nizza, where you will find some reflection cues.

Look for an exhibition, so you will be able to see the establishments and all their beauty: installations are always connected to the exhibition topics, so they are never banal, and don’t forget you can buy just one combined ticket to visit both the places, at a cheaper price.


Useful information

 Both the places can be easily reached by bus, you just have to get informed about the timetable you can find on the ATAC (public transfer provider) website.

The MACRO in Testaccio is open in the afternoon (from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 8pm), only in case of exhibitions in place. The MACRO in Via Nizza is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 7.30pm. In both the cases, it’s preferable to go there one hour in advance at least, as the ticket office closes one hour before the closing time. Both the establishments are closed on Monday.

The ticket price is very cheap: it’s 6 euros for the MACRO in Testaccio (5 euros for Roman citizens), 10 euros for the MACRO in via Nizza (9 euros for Romans), and the combined ticket for both the tours is 12,50 euros (11,50 for Romans).

There is also the possibility of any discounts and free tickets according to special agreements and you can find everything about it on the MACRO website, linking to dedicate pages and it also lists agreements with other museums in the city.


Final tips

In your Roman tour, you can’t miss this place; before getting there, have a look to the ongoing exhibitions: there are often discounts and combined tickets for other initiatives in the area you could take advantage of.

Do you want to stay in Rome?

For this location we recommend Hotel Panama Garden, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.

macroContemporary ArtAuguste Rodin peroninizza streettestaccio romeDanilo EscherOdile Decq Architecture University of RomeLa Pelanda

icona newsletter rome hints

Subscribe to our mailing list!

* Required Fields

I accept Privacy Policy