We stayed near Rome Termini, the central train and bus station in 2012 and again in 2014. Thanks to the Rome hop on, hop off bus commentary we discovered Palazzo Massimo, which we had walked by many times. This is treasure house of excellent Roman art. The 2nd floor (piano secondo) was the highlight for us with marble mosaic art, incorporating gold and mother of pearl. The reconstruction of Livia's garden with wall paintings from her villa where you can sit and enjoy the fine art she commissioned. Livia was the wife of Caesar Augustus. This villa was part of her dowry, which her generous husband let her keep. In the basement, there is a rare mummy of a young girl and some beautiful jewellery and coins. Lots of fine sculpture in between. We visited twice to ensure we enjoyed all the treasures many of which were revealed when Termini was built. As a bonus, your ticket can also be used to visit the nearby Baths of Diocletian including the cloister of Michelangelo. A visit to Michelangelo's redesigned Basilica, Santa Maria degli Angeli, beside the baths was another highlight. The Basilica was built inside the frigidarium of the baths. Pope Clement XI commissioned astronomer, Francesco Bianchini, to build a sundial/meridian into the marble floor completed in 1702. Its a thing of beauty too - both scientifically and artistically. All 3 are within a couple of minutes walk of Rome Termini's trains and metro. Do yourself a favour and visit all 3 over a day or two.
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