Museo Napoleonico
Museo Napoleonico
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The vast number of exhibits here takes visitors on a journey through the Napoleonic age and the opportunity to get to know various members of the Bonaparte family and their role in history, in a setting, the Palazzo Primoli, where the characteristic atmosphere of a historic aristocratic home remains intact.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Museo Napoleonico and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ponte
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles215 reviews
Excellent
75
Very good
103
Average
33
Poor
3
Terrible
1

slw9135
69 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Went to this little museum a few blocks north of the Palazzo Navona. It's free to get in (they do ask for donations) and only takes 1/2 - 1 hour to go through depending on how detailed you want to get. It's a nice little place but is definitely not something to go out of your way to see. If you are a serious Francophile or want to know more about the Napoleon family (Napoleon I, II and III) plus other members of the family than this will be for you. Each room has a page describing the room available in Italian, French and English and some of the pieces on display have descriptions in all 3 languages but some are only in Italian.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheJackeh
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Solo
I really enjoyed learning more about this tremendous individual. The gallery is one floor, and the layout is sensible and easy. Everything is labeled. There are also placards in each room in various languages to explain the rooms. You can pay €5 for the audio guide, which gives a little bit of extra more than the placards in the rooms, but I don't like how the audio guide doesn't explain the foreign terms it is using... You can think of it more as a donation to the museum, since entry is free.
Written November 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott P
Adelaide, Australia150 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Couples
The Museo Napoleonico is an accesible place to visit, housed on the ground floor of the Palazzo Primoli opposite the Ponte Umberto I. It would not neccesarily be on the Top Ten of Places to visit in Rome, especially if one had limited time and were only in the Eternal City for 2 or three days. Nor is it a museum for someone whose main focus is military history or who is hoping for a venue entirely devoted to Napoleon I. Yet it has some unexpected delights and many will find it an interesting diversion requiring no more than an hour.

I visited here on my third trip to Rome (I had actually tried before on my last day in town in November 2011 but it was closed for a strike - not an unusual occurence in Rome!) and therefore had the time to sample less frequented places like this museum, especially as we were staying for 2 weeks. Our visit was part of a full day walking around the city starting from our hotel on via Nazionale to explore the Spanish Steps, the Piazza del Popolo and its Basilica, the Mausleo di Augusto, Museo Napoleonico, San Luigi dei Francesi, a long lunch on via del Governo Vecchio, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and finishing at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. I am a keen student of Napoleon and the subsequent generations of the Bonaparte family, yet was certainly happy to spend no more than an hour here.

Previous reviews have noted the difficulty of getting change at this museum. This is now moot as the Mueso Napoleonico has free entry as of 27 August 2014. Still the lesson is well learned. Romans would rather die with their leg in the air than give change so it is always advisable to have exact fare and pay in cash at any museum. When we visited in November 2013 entry was 6,50 Euros per person and I had the exact fare handy.

It is true that there is not an abundance of information in English and a few of the items required some guess work, but I do not believe earlier reviews suggesting that information in English is non existent. Most labels were in English and I recall that there were large portable information cards in English in many of the rooms which explained the items on display. One can also purchase a guide book in English (I always eschew audio guides which are usually expensive time wasters telling me minute details I have no interest in, dictating where I should look and cause museum visitors to bunch up continously in the same spot), the written guide cost 7 Euros and is a nice souvenir, it also includes a detailed family tree of at least five generations as an aid to understand where everone fits in.

The museum was certainly not crowded when we visited, although there were three large groups of extremely bored school children listening to interminably long lectures from their teachers which did slow down our progress and cause us to have to mix up the order of rooms to avoid the gaggles of youth. I was exasperatedly bemused by the security guards regarding we two foreign tourists with suspicion ('what are they doing here?, why aren't they lining up for a Vatican tour? they must be up to no good' I assumed was their thinking) as if we were about to damage something on the display, yet ignoring the bored local students who leaned all over the exhibits, furniture, artwork etc.

As mentioned, I am a devoted student of the Napoleonic period, but am mainly interested in the people and the politics rather than military history. I have also read extensively about the subsequent generations of the Bonaparte family right to the present day, and I also own a copy of Joanna Richardson's "Portrait of a Bonaparte" which has extensive excerpts from the letters and diaries of Count Guiseppe Primoli whose collection and house form the basis of this museum. Therefore I was extremely pleased to see the many exhibits relating the wider family of Napoleon I and his descendants here.

Room I and II cover the First Empire and contains some wonderful artwork such as Chabord's "Napoleon on the field of Wagram" (1810) and Lefevre's portrait of Madame Mere (Napoleon I's mother, her Roman palazzo can be seen on the Piazza Venezia on the corner of the via del Plebiscito and via del Corso), this portrait dating from 1813. I was also delighted to be reacquainted with Lefevre's c. 1805 portrait of Josephine which I first saw at an exhibtion arranged by the Foundation Napoleon for Melbourne in June 2012.

Room III is devoted to the Second Empire which includes the Winterhalter portraits of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie as well as works relating to their tragic heir Napoleon Eugene Louis, the Prince Imperial who died at the hands of the Zulus in the Zulu War of 1879. Room IV has a collection of items relating to Napoleon I's heir, the King of Rome, an equally tragic figure. Here one can see selections of the numerous prints and artefacts made of and for this much anticipated heir, a plethora of portraits were created of this little infant. This collection of items were the possesions of Napoleon II's tutor Anton Prokesch-Osten, including a very interesting item being a Chinese worked set of Jeu de l"Hombre which was presented to Napoleon I on St Helena by Montstuart Elphinstone the Governor of Bombay (1819-1827). Another curious item was a sketch made by the Duke of Reichstadt (the King of Rome's Austrian title) in 1829 of a figure from the Sistine Chapel. If I understood the inscription on the border, it appears to have been donated by Ferdinand Bac the illegitimate son of Napoleon I's younger brother Jerome, and even Musolino seems to have had a hand in this donation.

There are twelve small rooms in all, including Room VI devoted to Napoleon I's sister Pauline who married Prince Borghese and the celebrated sculpture of her in the nude by Canova is one of the many must sees in the Galleria Borghese. (As a dedicated 'Bonapartist' I even made my way along the via XX Settembre near the Porta Pia to see her residence, the Villa Paolina, which is now the French Embassy to the Holy See). Room VII depicts the Kingdom of Naples which Napoleon I gave first to his older brother Joseph and then to his sister Caroline and her celebrated husband Marechal Murat (whose famous equestrian portrait by Gros hangs in the Louvre). Room VII also displays a delightful painting by Isabey (who produced many portraits of Napoleon I) of Caroline and Joachim Murat's children who after the First Empire settled in the US (Achille, in uniform in the group portrait, later became Mayor of Tallahassee, while Lucien Charles Joseph settled in New Jersey, his daughter Caroline later writing an 'unreliable' memoir of the Second Empire and Empress Eugenie).

Room IX is worth the admission alone for the fine double portrait by Jacques-Louis David of Joseph Bonaparte's daughters Zenaide and Charlotte. Famous works by David such as the Coronation of Napoleon can be seen in the Louvre. Zenaide was Guiseppe Primoli's grandmother, indeed Primoli had a double Bonaparte ancestry as Zenaide had married her first cousin, the son of Napoleon I's younger brother Lucien. For those travelling further afield in Italy you may see the tomb of Charlotte and her mother Julie Clary (sister of the celebrated Desiree Clary, one time amour of Napoleon I, and later wife of Marechal Bernadotte who becam King of Sweden) at Santa Croce in Florence where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Alberti, Rossini and Galileo also lie.

No doubt the visitor to the Museo Napoleonico will find many more interesting items to enchant them. I was taken with the large portrait by Wicar of Lolotte Bonaparte, the daughter of Lucien, in a traditional peasant outfit which is found in Room XI. Room XII has a small selection of the impressive library of Guiseppe Primoli and is also a tribute to his impressive relative Mathilde Bonaparte, the daughter of Napoloen I's youngest brother Jerome. Mathilde at one time might have been Napoleon III's consort. Instead she married the dissolute Russian Count Anatole Demidoff who purchased or commissioned a wide variety of art which can now be seen in many galleries of Paris, Rome and elsewhere. Mathilde's brother, known as Plon-Plon, married into the Savoy Royal House and the villa in which he died can be seen on the via del Babuino next to the Hotel de Russie close to the Piazza del Popolo.

As can be seen, even for one with a keen interest in the subject, an hour was more than enough time to appreciate this museum and will still allow a full day of sight seeing. If you are interested in the Bonaparte family and have the time then there is plenty to delight (not just paintings but also statuary, furniture, costumes, ceramics, swords, snuff boxes etc) and it is now more attractive as a free venue.
Written October 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TCA
Sydney, Australia73 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012
I was really interested in seeing the Napoleon Museum on our trip to Rome (from Australia) as a snapshot of that interesting time in history. We trotted across town with our one year old in tow. On entering the foyer, there was some initial confusion about whether there was a cost to enter. Without saying a word, the lady attendant pointed at a sign on the wall which said tickets were €7, so I went to pay. She then rejected my €50 note (which was the smallest I had to cover a €14 bill), saying she had no change. She added, with a laugh, that I was the second person today who she'd had this issue with. I was surprised, but thought we could at least pay with a credit card, so got that out. She said they don't take credit cards. I admit that I was a bit dumbfounded. I explained that we were leaving Rome the next day and would then be going back to Australia. I was happy to pay for the tickets and would really love to see the museum. She just shrugged, so we left disappointed. Can't therefore way whether its a good museum - it may well be, but you'd better take the exact change...
Written February 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RGSOUNDF
Mercerville, NJ10,810 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
The museum, its access has been recently made free of charge, features 12 rooms with fascinating artifacts, paintings, gravures, and sculptures pertaining to Napoleon I and his extended family, his parents, brothers, sisters, and wives, including l'Aiglon, Duke of Reichstadt, (Napoleon II, the Emperor's son) and well into the years of the Second Empire with 'Badinguet' himself (Napoleon III), and up to Princesse Mathilde, the famous hostess of Paris literary salon with Flaubert and Turgenev as its habituées.
The museum is located within two minutes walk from Piazza Navona, right across the bridge (Ponte Umberto I).
It is an excellent compact museum with a very impressive collection; the core of the exposition is formed by a vast collection of Count Joseph Napoléon Primoli (1851-1927), nicknamed Gégé, the nephew of Princesse Mathilde. The collection was donated to the City of Rome in 1927, by Count Primoli shortly before his death.
Highly recommended.
Written May 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marci B
Houston, TX26 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
If you are not a huge history buff and don't know the tragic, political, and draconian history of the Napoleonic era, and you would like to go where no one else in Rome is, even for just one hour - this is a great, jewel box of a museum.
The staff is very friendly and the audio guide is a little overblown, but getting an earful of how Napoleon threw the Pope out of Rome is interesting and gives a bit of perspective to your daily life of jostling on the bus and trying to get people to see things your way.
I would recommend it for families with children over 15.
Written April 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mark d
Gloucester, UK143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Solo
Great museum that is free.If you come from Fort Sant Angelo it is just over the bridge then turn left and cross the road at the next bridge. Like the ridge at Waterloo that Napoleon didn't quite get to but got a statue anyway, he never visited Rome. But his sisters did.
There were information cards in each room - mainly in italian and if there were audio guides it wasn't offered. There are a few rooms - it seemed to be only one at the start. They cover later periods when his nephew is on the throne. Also a room on his son. Lots of items to look at.I spent an hour easily but I looked at everything. You could spend a good 30 minutes and be out. Small bookshop in entrance and I got an excellent English one but had to ask - they will insist you take a receipt - It's an offence not to have one apparently due to tax dodging.Toilet but no cafe.
Written November 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paolo-Chris
San Diego, CA904 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
My wife and I have been to Rome about ten times over the past 20 years but had never before been to the Museo Napoleonico, even though we’d walked right by it probably 20 times. It’s located just across Ponte Umberto on the south side of the Tiber. Since our last trip to Rome, we had been to Napoleon’s Tomb in Paris, had taken courses about Napoleon and the French Revolution, and thought that the Museo Napoleonico would deepen our knowledge and provide some perspective on what we had learned. It certainly did that. However, even if we hadn’t taken the courses, we still would have enjoyed the museum. It’s a small museum – only about 10 rooms, and there is no admission charge. It’s full of paintings, busts, furniture, interesting memorabilia, and personal effects that belonged to Napoleon and his family. When we were there, the museum was peaceful and quiet (quite different from the rest of Rome); and aside from the museum’s attendant, we were the only people in the museum.

Just as the Roman Forum gives you some idea of how Romans lived during the time of the Caesars, the Museo Napoleonico gives you some idea of how wealthy Europeans lived during the time of Napoleon. Worth your time.
Written January 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Midnite77
Malaysia96 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
This was not in our original itinerary but we thought why not, since it was so close to our apartment. Interesting exhibits all about Napoleon and his family. There were even his outfits which was amazing. Free to enter and not crowded at all.
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mjsheridan130
New York City, NY237 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Solo
The Museo Napoleonico tells the story of the Bonaparte Family's effect on Rome, and Italy in general. From patronizing the arts, to overthrowing the pope, the Museum excellently lays history of this often forgotten part of Italian history. The rooms that house the collection are exceptionally stunning, as well as the wide array of objects that the museum contains, everything from grand paintings to utilitarian objects of daily life. The best part is that the Museum is completely free and is extremely easy to find.
Written January 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 65
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Museo Napoleonico - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Museo Napoleonico


Restaurants near Museo Napoleonico: View all restaurants near Museo Napoleonico on Tripadvisor

All Rome HotelsRome Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Rome
All things to do in Rome
Day Trips in Rome
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars