Discover Centrale Montemartini: Where Ancient Rome Meets Industrial Beauty
Rome, the Eternal City, is globally renowned for its splendid monuments and millennia-old history. The historic center of the Italian capital is a true open-air museum, where every alley or square reveals priceless gems such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, or Piazza Navona. Every day, these symbolic places in Rome are literally stormed by tourists from around the world.
In addition to these treasures that continue to enchant visitors year after year, there is one lesser-known to the general public, located in an area of Rome not far from the historic center: we are talking about Centrale Montemartini, a hub of the industrial history of the Eternal City, located in the Ostiense district, in the southern quadrant of the capital.
The industrial past of Rome
Centrale Montemartini, located in front of the former Mercati Generali, is a unique testimony to the industrial past of the city. It was built in 1912 as a thermoelectric power plant designed by the architect Giovanni Montemartini, from whom the structure takes its name. Its initial function was to provide electric power to Rome through coal combustion.
From coal to artistic beauty
Starting from the 1990s, the plant was decommissioned, but the structure was immediately converted into the location of the Capitoline Museum of Ancient Machines. Visiting this place is like taking a backward journey through the history of Rome: starting with the modern city, then admiring the industrial one, narrated through the furnishings still present inside, and concluding with the ancient city, illustrated through exceptional archaeological artifacts. The Centrale houses about 400 Roman statues and sculptures, inscriptions, and mosaics. A fascinating and unique place where the modernity of industrial machines harmonizes with marble columns, busts of ancient deities, and classical sculptures. A captivating contrast that mesmerizes the dozens of guests who come to visit the museum every day. Particularly interesting is the Machine Room, with its marvelous Liberty-style furnishings, where turbines and engines, diesel engines, and the colossal steam boiler are perfectly preserved.
Events and special exhibitions
Centrale Montemartini is not just a museum but also a venue that hosts events and special exhibitions. A multifaceted and versatile structure, an original location where past and present, classicism and modernity blend together. The common thread is human ingenuity, the pulsating engine from ancient times to today.
Roma Ostiense: a vibrant district with a contemporary soul
The district that has hosted Centrale Montemartini since 1912 is inextricably linked to this iconic structure that rises in the shadow of Gazometro and Porto Fluviale, contributing to enhancing and maintaining its identity over time as a district with a strongly industrial character.
After a visit to the nearby Pyramid of Cestius and the lively district of Testaccio, why not conclude the day with a visit to this unique Capitoline Museum, where ancient, modern, and contemporary seamlessly blend together so wonderfully?