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There’s More than One Art Museum in Italy: Beat the Crowds in Smaller Museums


I love Italian food. I routinely have pizza at least once a week (courtesy of the amateur-chef husband). I could probably eat Italian for weeks without wanting something different. I haven’t met an Italian wine I didn’t like. And even I go to Italy for reasons other than to stuff my face with pasta.

Italy is home to some of the world’s great art, and is therefore home to some of the world’s great art museums as well. Most tourists who visit the country plan to take in at least one of the biggies (Florence’s Uffizi, for example). If you want to buck the trend or get away from the crowds, however, there are plenty of smaller museums packed with art that’ll make you feel just as cultured.

So, to help you plan your trip to Italy for 2007, here’s a guide to some of the year’s top art exhibitions in the country. Among the treats in store for you:

  • The first-ever retrospective of Dutch artist Mondrian’s work in Brescia’s Santa Giulia Museum (through March 25)
  • Terra cotta warriors and burial garments from China in Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale (through February 4)
  • The post-WWII work of Picasso in Venice’s Palazzo Grassi (through March 11)

Many of these exhibitions only run through the late winter or early spring, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting off the beaten-art-museum path. Ask the local tourist information office in any city for a listing of what shows are going on when you’re there.