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Top 5 wallet-friendly art galleries in Rome

Top five art galleries in Rome available for niente or little more than that

Rome is often said to be the cradle of European culture and art in general. No wonder you will see a really overwhelming number of art galleries and museums if you happen to stroll along the extensive network of charming vias and piazzas. Still, as there is really much to do and see you might wish to go the more affordable way in order to be able to make the most of your stay – that’s why the list you can see below covers top five spots to check out if you’re going to look for some inspiring art without breaking your wallet.

Gallery of the National Academy of San Luca

If you’re going to explore the breathtaking surroundings of the legendary Trevi Fountain (legend says that you should toss a coin into its water to grant yourself a safe return to Rome in the future), make sure to stop by at Piazza dell’Academia and visit the gallery of the National Academy of Saint Luke; an interesting fact holds it that Saint Luke painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary and thus became the patron of painters. The entry is free and the place houses an impressive collection of works by members of the academy – including those of Guido Reni, Domenichino, Bernini, Cortona and Romanelli, just to mention a few. The Academy itself operates to date and you can also see some more modern artistic creations, like the amazing sculptures by Ernesto Biondi and Piccirilli Brothers. If you’re looking for a spot to view some of the most eminent works from the areas of painting, sculpting or architecture created in Rome, then the gallery is the place to go to.


A suggestion for those much into contemporary art. As you will be probably quite keen on visiting the area of the famous Spanish Steps, a stop at this vivid art gallery found nearby (Via dei Greci, 30) will provide a nice contrast to the historical surroundings and complement your stay with a good dose of aesthetic experience. Inside of this ultra-modern place you will find a rich collection of diverse paintings, sculptures, drawings, signs, toys, limited edition prints and other gadgets. The artifact-cluttered interiors evoke a sense of intrigue and absurd, yet in their most positive meaning, bringing the value of today’s art to contemporary audience. From classy to kitsch, from cartoons to mock-portraits, it’s all there. If you’re in for a state-of-the-art thrill, don’t hesitate to check out this exceptional gallery; and if you wish to take a piece of what you might see back home, MondoPop also offers a nice selection of works of art at affordable prices. Head to their website to see what’s currently on their schedule!

Dorothy Circus Gallery

“You wanna be Americano” in Rome? Then why not visit the fantastic Dorothy Circus Gallery, where dozens of selected works of art based on American Pop Surrealism await you? A mind-boggling amount of pictures, illustrations and installations is there to be discovered, so don’t miss this opportunity, especially if you’re a fan of names like Dalek, Alex Gross, Becky Grant or Damon Soule. Still, if these names don’t ring the bell, you are bound to be captivated anyway – the sole atmosphere of this remarkable gallery makes a visit truly memorable. The gallery is often mentioned in the press dealing with pop iconography, depicted as an example of how to approach this special kind of art to make it accessible and interesting to the public. Expect to be shocked, surprised and enchanted by a maze of fantastic artifacts hiding in the interiors of a small villa where the gallery is nested. Haze of mystery fills the air and the border between the real and the surreal has never been so fluid. All this is available, at Via dei Pettinari 76 on the right side of Tiber.

Galleria Lorcan O’Neill

This great gallery is found on Via degli Orti d’Alibert 1, on the left side of Tiber – very close to Ponte Mazzini, so not only does it offer an intriguing insight into the world of art, but it also enjoys a picturesque location. The place itself was started by Lorcan O’Neill, who was an art dealer in London at the time, and has soon become one of Rome’s most renowned and acclaimed private galleries. After all, its collections comprise many trademark works of art by artists like Max Rental, Matvey Levenstein, Tracey Emin, as well as some creative output by local talents, including Pietro Ruffo or Luigi Ontani. And what to expect inside? Well, variety is the first word that comes to mind. From multi-item installations, through balloon-filled spaces to ‘classic’ sets of pictures on display, the gallery has got it all. Paintings, sculptures, wood carvings – all themed around contemporariness. If you’re a fan, make sure to check out this great spot. For current programme, browse through their website to make sure you get what you’re after.

Villa Farnesina

This place is highly recommended if you wish to feel the real spirit of Rome of the past. The villa is located in the district of Trastevere, on Via dalle Lungara 230 – quite close to the Vatican, if that’s also on your travelling schedule. It’s a magnificent house dating back to the 16th century, built for a wealthy banker – Agostino Chigi. The ornamental style of the time was not so uncommon, but the fact that the interiors of this particular villa were decorated by Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giulio Romano and Il Sodoma makes it a real work of art – and quite a big one, for that matter. Indeed, the plenty of frescos depicting classical images and scenes is bound to leave you impressed. Often referred to as one of the most amazing pieces of heritage of Italian Renaissance, this private property offers a great insight into the noble artistic past of Rome. Further information can be found on the villa’s website. If you’re ready to experience the essence of Italian Renaissance, this place is a perfect choice.