The MAXXI is the name of a contemporary museum in Rome that opened in 2010. Commonly referred to as the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, this cultural institution calls the northern Flaminio neighborhood home. This neighborhood is a bit removed from the city center, though certainly close enough to merit consideration when building a Rome itinerary. Thanks largely to the MAXXI Museum, venturing north to Flaminio on the metro has become quite popular among tourists. Other attractions in the general Flaminio area include the Stadio Flaminio and the Stadio Olimpico. The former originally hosted soccer matches but is now mostly a rugby venue, while the latter is the largest sports facility in the city and plays host to home games for Rome’s two biggest soccer clubs – Roma and Lazio. While spending time in the northern reaches of the city, tourists can also consider exploring the Riserva Naturale di Monte Mario. Also, to the near south of Flaminio is where you will find the Villa Borghese park and museums.


Architecture  Image: Un ragazzo chiamato Bi (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

The MAXXI Museum is actually two museums in one. There is the MAXXI Architettura, which focuses on architecture, and the MAXXI Arte, which puts the emphasis on modern art. The multi-faceted MAXXI Museum also features an auditorium, a bookshop, a cafeteria and a variety of other things. There’s even a large public square out front. In the MAXXI Architettura, visitors can learn about the history of architecture in the 20th century. They can also confront the kinds of issues and expectations that relate to present day architecture. Of course, no discussion about the MAXXI Museum in general would be complete without discussing the architecture of the museum complex itself. An Iraqi-born architect by the name of Zaha Hadid won the design competition, and the stunning MAXXI Museum complex reflects her daring tendencies.


In the MAXXI Architettura, the permanent collections are grouped into the categories of XX Century Collections, XXI Collections and Photography Collections. In the MAXXI Arte, the various collections focus on art in general, with sub-categories including dance, fashion, music, film, theater and advertising. Much of the subject matter offers insight into 20th century art and artists, though there are also exhibits that focus on the present and the future. In addition to its permanent collections, the MAXXI Museum also hosts special temporary exhibitions from time to time. This helps keep things fresh for repeat visitors.

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