Scuderie del Quirinale: Exhibitions in Rome

With its world-class museums and the wealth of art on display in its churches and on its piazze, Rome is clearly a great destination for art-lovers. Nevertheless, it lags behind other European capitals in the quality of its art exhibitions. Although suitable exhibition space in Rome has increased tremendously in recent years, the exhibitions themselves are often of varying quality. One venue which offers a consistently high level of exhibitions is the Scuderie del Quirinale, now celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

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This exhibition space opened in December 1999 in the beautifully renovated 18th century palace, which originally served as the papal stables. The Scuderie is in an ideal position, just next to the Quirinale Palace in the heart of historic Rome. The stairs leading up to the exhibition space remind visitors that the space used to house the Vatican’s horses, rather than the artwork on loan from around the world now gracing those same walls today.

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The Scuderie also houses a pleasant café and a well-stocked bookstore. Families traveling with children should note that, like many museums in Rome, the Scuderie offers excellent workshops on art geared at children. Workshops must be booked in advance and information can be obtained through the Scuderie’s education webpage.

The exhibitions are almost always impressive. Currently on display (through January 17, 2010) is the excellent  Rome. The painting of an Empire . On display at this first-ever exhibition of the paintings of Imperial Rome are over 100 works of art from ancient Rome, including  landscapes, still-lifes, portraits, frescoes from ancient villas in Rome and Pompeii, scenes from mythology. The next exhibition to be held at the Scuderie will be Caravaggio (February 18 – June 13, 2010). The exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the great artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

In addition to the wonderfully curated exhibitions, the Scuderie is fortunate to also offer one of the most breathtaking views of Rome. Perched up high on the Quirinale hill – the highest of Rome’s seven hills – the stairway leading down from the exhibition space offers a breathtaking view over the Eternal City.

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If your travels take you through Rome in the next months, be sure to stop by the Scuderie to see these not-to-be-missed exhibitions.