What’s on in Rome: Best summer exhibitions

Rome exhibitions: What not to miss this summer.

A selection of the best exhibitions in Rome this summer. Visiting details vary, with most of the museums and galleries listed requiring advance booking. For full details check websites.

Pietro Pasolini: We Are The Land
23 June-30 Sept. Galleria Valentina Bonomo presents a new cycle of works by the Roman-Brazilian born artist Pietro Pasolini, created in response to the dramatically accelerating destruction of the world’s forests. Pasolini’s latest exhibition asks us to think about trees, forests and the natural world whose biodiversity is being lost at 100 times the normal rate due to reckless human intervention. Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Via del Portico d’Ottavia 13, website.  


Damien Hirst at Galleria Borghese 

Damien Hirst at Galleria Borghese. Photo La Repubblica.

8 June-7 Nov. Galleria Borghese – home to masterpieces by Bernini and Caravaggio – presents the works of contemporary British artist Damien Hirst. The show includes more than 80 works from Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable series, featuring sculptures made from bronze, rock crystal and coral, alongside the artist’s Colour Space paintings. Reservations required. Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5, website.  


World Press Photo    

World Press Photo 2021. Evelyn Hockstein: For The Washington Post.
28 May-22 Aug. This year’s World Press Photo exhibition is being held for the first time at the Mattatoio, the former slaughterhouse in Rome’s Testaccio district. The 64th edition of this prestigious recognition of international photojournalism provides a chance to look back over the dramatic and hard-hitting world events that took place over a most intense last year, from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement. Mattatoio, Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4, website.

Roma: Nascita di una Capitale 

16 May-26 Sept. Palazzo Braschi hosts an exhibition that explores the first decades after the city became the capital of the united Italy in 1870. The show comprises more than 600 works and documents, delving into the archaeological excavations, demolitions and reconstructions that shaped the capital of the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy. The exhibition also illustrates socio-cultural changes, from politics and art to trade, tourism and sport, leading up to world war one. Palazzo Braschi. Piazza Navona 2, website.  

All About Banksy: Exhibition 2   

5 May-9 Jan. Chiostro del Bramante presents ALL about BANKSY, a new exhibition dedicated to the anonymous British street artist whose powerful, satirical and thought-provoking murals are celebrated around the world. The show, which follows an earlier Banksy exhibition, features about 250 artworks from private collections. Chiostro del Bramante, Via Arco della Pace 5, website. 

Chiamala Roma

27 April-5 Sept. The Museum di Roma in Trastevere stages an exhibition of photographs taken by Roman photographer Sandro Becchetti between 1968 and 2013, the year of his death. In addition to photographing the capital’s buildings and inhabitants, Becchetti immortalised leading cultural figures such as de Chirico and Pasolini whose portraits are on display. Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Piazza S. Egidio 1/b, website.  

Colori dei Romani27 April-15 Sept. One of Rome’s quirkiest but least-visited museums, Centrale Montemartini is a former industrial power plant housing over 400 pieces of ancient sculpture. Its latest display comprises a wide selection of precious mosaics from the Capitoline Museum collections. Accompanied by a series of fresco fragments, sculptures, historical photographs, watercolours and drawings, the mosaics offer insights into Roman society between the first century BC and the fourth century AD. Via Ostiense 106, website.  


Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces

26 April-9 Jan. Rome’s Torlonia Marbles exhibition, hampered by extended closures and delays, was recently extended until January. Considered among the world’s most important private collections of Greek-Roman classical art, the Torlonia Collection of 620 ancient sculptures was amassed by the noble Torlonia family. Visitors can admire more than 90 ancient sculptures from the priceless collection at Villa Caffarelli. Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio, website.  
Josef Koudelka: Radici
26 April-29 Aug. The Ara Pacis Museum dedicates an exhibition to Josef Koudelka, the award-winning Czech photographer from the Magnum Photo agency, with more than 100 “timeless views” of ancient Roman and Greek heritage. The exhibition highlights Koudelka’s photographic journey in search of the roots of our history in the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. Museo dell’Ara Pacis, Lungotevere in Augusta, website.
Cover image: Damien Hirst at Galleria Borghese. Photo La Repubblica