Palazzo Barberini: Museum and Gardens

palazzo barberini facade

Palazzo Barberini is one of the most overlooked art museums in Rome.

The 17th-century palace is incredibly centrally located – just around the corner from the quattro fontane and a few streets over from the Trevi Fountain.

palazzo barberini facade

I think part of my hesitation was the name of its gallery – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica.

Old art.

Plenty of that in Rome!

palazzo barberini stairs

Or so I thought.

It turns out that the magnificent building creates an incredible backdrop for the collection.

palazzo barberini art museum in Rome

Borromini and Bernini worked together to finish this Palazzo.

You might remember the duo from other projects like Palazzo Spada.

palazzo barberini Rome

But the same art collection that I dismissed as ‘old’ and mentally labeled as ‘potentially very boring,’ is exactly what differentiates this palace from the others.

caravaggio palazzo barberini

The blood squirting out of Holofernes while he is beheaded by Judith? Not bad, Caravaggio. Not bad.

palazzo barberini fresco

And the frescoes are INSANE.

palazzo barberini

As much as I enjoyed exploring the beautiful building, the gardens leave even more to be discovered.

palazzo barberini fountain

As you enter the gates of the Palazzo, you can proceed directly through the center archway instead of buying a ticket to climb the stairs to the museum on the left of the building.

palazzo barberini roma

Continue to the back, and you will emerge in a large garden.

palazzo barberini gardens

The garden has been restored to its original design and can be visited without a ticket.

garden at palazzo barberini

It is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to open spaces in the middle of Rome. It feels miraculously hidden in plain sight because there is nothing inconspicuous about Palazzo Barberini itself.

The palace’s facade makes no attempt to blend in with the rest of Rome. It is unapologetically grand.

Rome's palazzo barberini

For a final splendid taste, peek in the other door (opposite side from the museum entrance) to see Borromini’s spiral staircase on your way out.

palazzo barberini museum

While the gardens are free all year, you can also visit the museum for free on the first Sunday of the month.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased on the spot or you can book ahead online using Tiqets for €14.50. The same ticket is valid for Palazzo Corsini on the same day.

Palazzo Barberini

Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13
00186 Roma

Palazzo Barberini Opening Hours

Tuesday – Sunday from 8:30 am to 7 pm. (Ticket office closes at 6 pm). Closed Mondays.

Please note that the Tiqets link is included for convenience and is an affiliate link, which means Natalie may earn a commission if you choose to purchase that way. You are under no obligation to do so.