I noticed this large abandoned palazzo when I first moved to Rome. I wondered what the history of the building was and why it was falling apart.
I found out that it was a city owned property built in 1929. It used to be the headquarters for the Health Administration. Once those offices moved, the building fell into disrepair with some sections abandoned for over sixty years.
Palazzo Merulana reopened last month and it’s a beauty. Stunning.
The renovations took only three years and was a private-public partnership. The space now holds the important collection of Claudio and Elena Cerasi. The couple focused on works created in the early 20th century, with the majority between WW 1 and WW 2. The Cerasi family owns a prominent construction company that has worked on projects such as the MAXXI Museum and other public and private works.
The Cerasi Foundation would like to see the Palazzo become an important space for visual art, cinema, music, and theatre. They’re working closely with several local cultural orgnaizaions. This is quite a gift to the city.
A ticket to see the exhibit is four euros. There’s a small, charming cafe on the ground and outdoor seating on the patio. The terrace is schedule to open in mid-July and the top floor is reserved for cultural events.
Here is a short clip about the museum.
The museum’s in a very accessible location. It’s about a ten minute walk from the Colosseum with easy access to the Metro and the Tram.
121 Via Merulana, 00185, Rome