Things to do in Rome this month – January 2022

things to do in Rome

What’s on in Rome this month?

This January in Rome is about incredible women artists, super colorful places to explore and photograph and sites which have finally reopened after many years! 

Without wasting a lot of time, let’s dive into these super exciting new things to explore in the city! 🤩

Things to do in Rome in January 2022

1) Roman Domus underground the Museo Barracco

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One of the corridors of the domus. Source: museobarracco.it – ph: Francesco Giordano

Rome never stops to amaze us! 🤩

This month we have a brand new opening, a brand new archaeological site: the Roman house beneath the Museum of Ancient Sculptures Giovanni Barracco. This museum is nearby Piazza Navona.

The ruins of this ancient Roman house were found by chance, during the demolition works to open up the street next to the building in 1899. 

This January, this ancient Roman house was opened to the public and it will stay open until February 20th, 2022.

Free entry, also for the museum upstairs. Time to go underground!

For info: http://www.museobarracco.it/en/node/1010088

2) Plautilla Bricci. A silent revolution

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Portrait of Plautilla Bricci. Source: https://www.barberinicorsini.org/

Have you ever heard of a female painter or sculptor in the 1600s? Probably very few times, if none. This is because it was very difficult for a woman in the 1600s to reach the fame of other famous artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini and others.

But this doesn’t mean women were not active in the art production. This exhibition tells us the story of Plautilla Bricci, a woman that in the 1600s succeeded in painting and architecture.

This is the first time an exhibition reunites her entire painting production. So it’s the perfect chance to easily get to know this incredible woman painter.

Would you like to have a preview of Plautilla’s works? You just need to walk in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, near the Pantheon. Here you can admire her painting of Saint Louis IX, which is right next to the crowded Contarelli chapel, where visitors queue everyday to see the most famous Caravaggio’s paintings.

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Painting of St Louis IX by Plautilla Bricci in the church of St Luigi dei Francesi. Credits: Daniel X. O’Neil, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plautilla Bricci exhibition takes place in the Galleria Corsini until April 19th, 2022.

For info: https://www.barberinicorsini.org/evento/una-rivoluzione-silenziosa-plautilla-bricci-pittrice-e-architettrice/

3) Caravaggio and Artemisia. The challenge of Judith

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Judith beheading Holofernes, Caravaggio, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn’t love Caravaggio? If you are not yet familiar with his paintings, you will most likely fall in love with him once you see them.

This exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the acquisition by the Italian state of the painting by Caravaggio Giuditta beheading Holofernes

Did you know that Caravaggio was so inspirational for the young artists of his time, that at some point a trend called “Caravaggisti” started? The “caravaggisti” were the artists that painted with a style that resembled the dark and realistic traits of Caravaggio.

This painting in particular inspired so many artists, to mention another great female painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. Artemisia was a painter that lived in the 1600s and was deeply inspired by Caravaggio’s works. In fact she also painted her version of Giuditta beheading Holofernes, as well as many other artists did.

Are you ready to witness with your own eyes how such great artists influenced each other? Then head down to Palazzo Barberini, the exhibition lasts until March 27th 2022.

For info: https://www.barberinicorsini.org/en/evento/caravaggio-and-artemisia-the-challenge-of-judith-violence-and-seduction-in-16th-and-17th-century-painting/

4) Giacomo Boni. The dawn of modernity

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The Temple of Venus and Rome can now be visited while in the Roman Forum!

Maybe the name Giacomo Boni does not ring any bells to you. What if I told you that he was the director of the huge excavation works of the Roman Forum and Palatine hill that took place at the end of the 1800s?

In other words, most of the things you can explore today in the Roman Forum, were excavated and preserved thanks to Giacomo Boni innovations in archaeology!

In this incredible exhibition you’ll have the opportunity to step into Boni’s emotions and excitement right before making a sensational discovery, or after finding a crucial solution to uncover another ancient Roman building! I got emotional when hearing his stories!

To give you an idea of how innovative he was: Boni was the first to take “drone” pictures (aerial view pictures) over the forum through the use of an air balloon flying over the archaeological site. In the 1800s!!

On top of that, you’ll have the chance to visit for the first time after many years, some of the most incredible sites inside the Roman Forum and Palatine hill: the Farnese Aviaries and the Temple of Venus and Roma from where you can see an incredible and different view over the Colosseum!

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The newly reopened temple of Venus and Roma

To access the exhibition you must enter the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, in the Roman Forum and Palatine hill. The exhibition lasts until April 30th, 2022.

For info: https://parcocolosseo.it/en/event/giacomo-boni-the-dawn-of-modernity-the-exhibition-widespread-between-the-palatine-and-the-roman-forum-opens-on-15-december/

5) Casa Balla. A hidden gem which is a triumph of colors!

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The colorful corridor of Casa Balla, the house museum of Giacomo Balla in the Prati district

What’s one of the most colorful places in Rome? Casa Balla! 🌈🎨

Casa Balla is the house museum of a great futuristic artist, Giacomo Balla. He lived in this house from 1929 until his death in 1958. Balla lived in this house together with his wife Elisa and his two daughters, Luce and Elica. He basically turned his house into a great piece of art itself. From the walls to the ceilings, the floors, the chandeliers, the chairs, the furniture.

Every inch of this apartment puts a smile on your face and fills you in with positivity 🌈😊

Balla was a sculptor and painter, his wife Elisa stitched. They both transmitted their passion to their daughters, and the result of that can be seen in all the beautiful works in this apartment.

Imagine the levels of creativity that were reached inside this house! 🤩

The cool thing about this visit is that you basically enter an ordinary apartment building in the Prati district (north of Rome) where other people live today.

You walk up the stairs to the 4th floor and you enter the door that says “Futur Balla”.

I loved this. It was like entering into the everyday life and behind the scene of an artist. Have you ever wondered how an artist lived? Here you can see how. 😊

Casa Balla will be opened to visitors throughout 2022, until December 31st. So be sure you make a visit before then! 😉

Book in advance, tickets sell out fast!

For info: https://www.boxol.it/maxxiart/it/advertise/casa-balla-dalla-casa-alluniverso-e-ritorno/379672

6) Serra Moresca: a real jewel in the heart of Villa Torlonia

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The Serra Moresca in Villa Torlonia. Credits: Gustavo La Pizza, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally this incredible place is now open to the public, after 15 years of restorations!

It is located in Villa Torlonia, one of the most charming parks of Rome.

Villa Torlonia is a land which used to belong to the Torlonia family. Today it is a public park which gives us special views over many different buildings with different styles: Arabic, classical, fairytale, and more! The Serra Moresca is a greenhouse inspired by the Alhambra royal palace of Granada. Something different, which one wouldn’t expect to find in Rome 😊

For info: http://www.museivillatorlonia.it/en/node/1009848

Thank you for reading! Have you been to any of these places already?

Can’t make it to Rome yet? Enjoy a Live Virtual Tour to get ready before your trip 😉

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Written by Federica

Creative director of Live Virtual Guide. Her favorite things are gelato, pizza and the hidden gems of Rome.
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