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5 Modern & Contemporary Art Museums in Italy

Italy’s fine art heritage encompasses more than ancient Roman sculptures and Renaissance paintings. The glorious journey through Italian art extends to this era with modern and contemporary masterpieces admired worldwide. Let's discover a select few of the museums dedicated to these exciting works.

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART)

Located in Rovereto with its breathtaking scenery of the Italian Alps, MART was designed by architects Mario Botta and Giulio Andreolli and was inaugurated in 2002. The structure recalls the Roman Pantheon as well as the iconic Guggenheim Museum in New York City while its shapes carved in the wood of the Italian Alps evoke the history of this incredibly beautiful territory. MART is not only a splendid museum owning a collection of about 20,000 works but also a cultural district that houses a theater—the Melotti Auditorium—an immense library, and a cafeteria decorated with objects of contemporary Italian design. The ‘900 Archive, an important research center, collects numerous documents related to Italian art and architecture of the twentieth century. A ten-minute walk takes you to MART’s Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero, the museum founded and designed by futurist Depero, who died in Rovereto. A third element of MART, annexed in 2013, is the contemporary art museum Galleria Civica in Trento.

MAXXI - the National Museum of 21st Century Art

The National Museum of XXI Century Arts, known as MAXXI, opened in 2010 and houses over 400 works. Heralded one of the most beautiful museums in the world, this treasure is the work of the famed woman architect Zaha Hadid. Iraqi-born and British-naturalized Hadid created sinuous and welcoming shapes built on the remains of the former Montello Barracks. The museum consists of two sections: MAXXI Art and MAXXI Architecture. Skip the entrance queues and get discounts by purchasing the Roma City Card.

Museo del Novecento

Towards the left of the Duomo in Milan and in front of the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery and the Royal Palace, stands the Palazzo dell’Arengario. The mid-1930s building designed in the rationalist style is one of the most original museums in Italy, the Museo del Novecento. Restored and rearranged in 2010 to house a collection of 4,000 works, the museum testifies to perhaps the most fertile and creative period of the city of Milan and the generosity and passion of the Milanese for collecting. The exhibition itinerary starts in 1902 to document Futurism, with a nucleus of sculpture, paintings, and drawings by the movement’s principal figure, Umberto Boccioni. The second part, set up in 2019, proposes a reading of the twentieth century from an artistic point of view.

Donnaregina Contemporary Art Museum - Madre Museum

The Donnaregina Museum of Contemporary Art in Naples is amazing for its beauty and dynamism. The current collection includes names such as Jeff Koons, Mimmo Palladino, Anish Kapoor, and many other geniuses of contemporary art. In a city of artistic classicism, a beautiful discovery.

Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Since 1985, the Castello of Rivoli has been home to the first public Italian contemporary art collection.  This UNESCO Heritage site hosts 300 art crafts spread across 3,000 square feet of galleries. In 2019, the Castello of Rivoli was granted management of Francesco Federico Cerruti’s private collection consisting of about a thousand works including ancient books, furnishings, sculpture, and paintings ranging from the Middle Ages to the contemporary.

Barbara Benzoni

 Barbara Benzoni was born in Milan and lives between Rome and Tuscany. She is devoted to USA, the land of courage and innovation. She’s Peter's super-lucky mum and Ale's wife. Cinema, art, good food and only beautiful things are the themes of her existence. With a degree in Italian literature and a Masters in Sports Management she can both enjoys books and basketball matches. In 25 years she has been organizing sport events all over the world and she’s been lucky enough to meet the greatest champs ever. Curiosity in everyday life and people are her drivers. Her personal icon is Mohammed Ali : "It's not bragging if you can back it up".