Centrale Montemartini

Via Ostiense 106 (Rome)

Situated along the Via Ostiense on the left bank of the Tiber, the Centrale Montemartini is an extraordinary example of industrial archaeological building converted into a museum. The first public facility to produce electricity, named after Giovanni Montemartini, it now houses a considerable part of the sculptures of classical antiquity that were unearthed during the excavations carried out in Rome in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition reconstructs the ancient monumental complexes that trace the development of the city from the Republican to the late imperial periods with particularly significant episodes that are often almost unknown to the general public, as in the case of very large mosaic with hunting scenes from S. Bibiana. The vast rooms of the Centrale, in particular the Engine Room with its fine Liberty-style furnishings, preserve unchanged turbines, diesel engines and the colossal steam boiler. Against this striking backdrop, the ancient marbles splendour for their translucent clarity and refined carving. In fact, some masterpieces of ancient sculpture seem to be enhanced in this atmosphere that evokes on the one hand the monumental grandeur of ancient Rome and on the other a more recent past and the memory of one of the early Roman industrial environments.

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