A Guide to Museo Napoleonico | Jo Linsdell

A Guide to Museo Napoleonico

A Guide to Museo Napoleonico, Rome


A Guide to Museo Napoleonico, Rome

This month has been a great month for museums. We've visited quite a few over the past few weeks. The "problem" with living in Rome is that for every museum you visit you find at least another three to add to your list. It's true what they say, a lifetime isn't enough! 

Our most recent visit was to the Museo Napoleonico, located close to the Tevere river. 

The museum houses an extraordinary art collection including paintings, clothes, jewellery and furniture from Napoleonic times.

A Guide to Museo Napoleonico, Rome

In 1927 Count Giuseppe Primoli (1851-1927), the son of Count Pietro Primoli and Princess Carlotta Bonaparte, donated his important collection of works of art, Napoleonic relics, and family mementos, all collected in the ground floor of his Palazzo, to the city of Rome. The collection, which had also absorbed some objects belonging to his brother Luigi (1858-1925), had come into existence not so much from the wish to bear witness to the imperial splendour, as from a desire to document the close relationship between the Bonapartes and Rome. These links were establishes with military force in 1808, after the French occupation of Rome. In 1811 the city became “the free and imperial city”, destined to be governed by Napoleon’s son, on whom was conferred, even before he was born, the title of the King of Rome.

The Napoleonic period left a deep mark on fashion and manners too. Dress was one of the areas in which the Empire style spread fastest and farthest. That style came into its own at Napoleon's magnificent coronation in the cathedral of Notre Dame on December 2, 1804, where Pope Pius VII himself consecrated the Emperor. The ceremony required three months of preparation. The clothing, the décor and the carriages were designed and made by an army of artists and craftspeople who worked day and night to carry out all the imperial commissions on time.

The clothes were designed by the miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Isabey, and they codified court apparel. Capes with long trains, like the one displayed here, which belonged to Madame Mère, became the rule for women's dress at court. Short capes were associated with male court dress.

Clothes Museo Napoleonico, Rome

The white silk dress that belonged to Julie Clary likewise reflects the strict court protocol that required women to wear white silk, as codified by the coronation. Differences in rank were manifested solely by the embroidery on their dresses: in silver thread for ladies of the court, in gold for members of the imperial family.

A Guide to Museo Napoleonico, Rome


Address: Piazza di Ponte Umberto I, 1 - 00186 Roma

Cost: Free Entrance
Opening hours

From Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00
Last admission 17.30
24 and 31 December 10.00-14.00
1 January 2023 11.00 - 16.00

Monday, 1 May and 25 December

Before planning the visit, CONSULT THE NOTICES
Call center 
Tel. +39 060608 (daily from 9.00 to 19.00)
Email museonapoleonico@comune.roma.it

Audioguides on the permanent exhibition of the museum in Italian, English and French: € 5,00

The audio guide can be purchased directly from the ticket office and is supplied to the visitor already sanitised in a sealed sachet and with a disposable headset.

The wardrobe service is free of charge and self-managed.
For reasons of protection of the works, the staff may request that bulky bags, backpacks, umbrellas and other potentially harmful objects be left in the cloakroom.
Items left in the self-service wardrobe must be collected before the museums close.

The use of a baby pram is admitted inside the museum.

- carry bulky bags or backpacks;
- enter with umbrellas;
- bring in pets, except for small dogs in carriers;
- consume food and drink;
- smoking.

Website: https://www.museonapoleonico.it/en/il_museo/storia_del_museo

A Guide to Museo Napoleonico, Rome

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