The Best of Rome’s Contemporary Culture

The culture of Rome has, throughout its history, never stopped being one of Europe’s giants. Many travellers visit, focussing of their trip on the wonders of Rome’s ancient history. Yet, the contemporary scene is thriving and offers many spectacles of our own age. Showcased within the streets and lives of the people themselves are many great examples of this. From modern art to cinema and architecture to fashion, Rome holds its ground in the avant-garde world. This article explores some hot spots that demonstrate its secure place on the global contemporary map.


Contemporary art must be referenced to truly understand contemporary culture. Rome’s history of leading art and architecture doesn’t stop today. A perfect example is the famous MAXXI museum of contemporary art. Housed in a spectacular contemporary building designed by architect Zaha Hadid. It is an exhibition space for experimentation in the most recent forms of art and architecture. Dedicated to them both are two separate museum halls. Permanent exhibits and temporary can be found, keeping the content constantly renewed. It is located in the northeast of the city. The best access is from the Light Rail station Apollodoro.

Maxxi museum is a sure symbol of contemporary architectural design.


Also known as the museum of contemporary art Rome, MACRO is the oldest of its kind. It has recently re-opened after a temporary closure for improvements. Externally, a renovated old Peroni factory houses the exhibits. However, the splendid interior design makes building itself a work of structural art. Check out ‘the catwalk’ as you stroll through the museum’s progressive exhibitions.

The permanent collection goes through rotational semi-permanent exhibitions. There are also many temporary instalments, so you will find something different every time you visit. Open for free until the end of 2019 is the new experimental project ‘MACRO Asilo’ directed by Giorgio de Finis. Located east of the Villa Borghese on via Nizza 138. For public transport, take the line B metro from Termini and stop at Castro Pretorio.

The interior of the Museum of Contemporary Art is a fantastic installation in itself!

The Monitor Gallery

Museums play a huge role in displaying the finest artworks. However, it is galleries that display the best of both contemporary local talent and international expertise. Monitor is an excellent example of this. Installations from talents such as the Fondazione Malutta, Graham Hudson, Ian Tweedy, Nathaniel Mellors and Elisa Montessori grace its halls. Due to the success of the Rome site, it also has a sister site in Lisbon. The Monitor is located in the west of the centre between the river Tiber and the Pantheon.

Jubilee Church

Contemporary design is not confined only to artists and intellectuals. Religion is a huge part of everyday life for many Romans. Here, contemporary architecture and Catholicism come together. The result is the Chiese di Dio Padre Misericordioso (also known as the Jubilee Church). English architect Richard Meier designed the building, like a grand, pearl ship. Located in the Tor Tre Teste region, this is southeast of the city centre. Finished in 1996, it was part of a new scheme for the Millenium. The aim was to build churches nearer Greater Rome’s 600,000 inhabitants that had no church in their neighbourhoods.

The Jubilee Church provides places of worship to the local neighbourhood as well as being a work of contemporary art.

Parco Della Musica

A magnificent music centre designed by famous Italian contemporary architect Renzo Piano. Built in the style of an ancient Greco-Roman amphitheatre is the centre stage. The three indoor music halls surround it. These are known as the ‘Sala Santa Cecilia’, the ‘Sala Sinopoli’ and the ‘Sala Petrassi’. Events at the music hall vary. From classical performances and symphony orchestras to modern pop bands and singers. If you’re looking for something new on the music scene, within an ultra-contemporary style auditorium, this is the place to go. It is located to the North of the central city, beyond the Villa Borghese. The nearest stop is the train station Euclide, on the Ferrovia Roma-Nord line. 

The grand concert and music hall is a work of art by the famous architect Renzo Piano.

Convention Centre La Nuvola

If you are travelling to Rome on business or attending an Expo, you might find yourself at the new Convention Centre La Nuvola. An entirely modern building, with a capacity of up to 9000 attendees, split between the auditorium and meeting rooms. The town mayor Matteo Renzi hailed the project as a new hope. He believed it would put Rome on the map for the international meetings industry. It is located out of the city centre to the south, so it’s unlikely you will visit as a tourist. It is, however, conveniently close to the nearby Historical Museum of Communications and Europark. If you are visiting La Nuvola on business, this contemporary twist on an ancient forum is an impressive sight. 

La Nuvola is an impressive work of contemporary architecture with the aim of setting Rome on the conference industry map.

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