National Museum of 21st Century Art
Designed by Zaha Hadid
This museum opened only weeks after my previous trip to Rome! It's Italy's first national museum of contemporary art and architecture. I vowed to go back and see it, just to experience the unique and fantastical modern architecture.
The museum was awarded Royal Institute of British Architects 2010 Stirling Prize for architecture.
The inside is open and light and very exciting. Everywhere you look makes you feel you have entered a new piece of modern art. It also reminds me of a spaceship where stormtroopers would feel at home! What could better? ;)
Architecture is really about well-being.
I think that people want to feel good in a space...
On the one hand it's about shelter,
but it's also about pleasure.
You are actually getting two museums in one. One for art and the other for architecture.
Just in case you were wondering, yes, you can take an elevator.
There was a very cool exhibition by William Kentridge going on at the museum when I was there. Since it was an installation I couldn't really take pictures ...
Here is a little video, which is partly in Italian, but the artist speaks English and the you can see some of his art, and and bits of his installations and films.
After going to the Capuchin Museum and Crypt that morning, then Santa Maria del Popolo, I was beginning to get hungry. Most museums these days have some sort of café and if they are art museums, it usually a pretty good bet that the food will be good.
It took me a while to figure out that the museum restaurant was across the courtyard. There were some people in line ordering paninis and vino.
But then I saw ... a buffet!
And it looked good.
I ordered a glass of wine ...
And then I dug in to the buffet.
Tons of antipasti and salad, and a variety of pastas in the hot food containers. I was trying to be low key about photographing the buffet. For some reason it felt extra silly taking picures here. Maybe it was the ultra sleek atmosphere and my little aqua colored point and shoot. I don't know.
That didn't stop me from photographing my own food, of course. My Italian teacher would have had a fit, that I piled it all on one plate, American Style. (Or at least, my style.) After all those stairs, in the museum, I was tired and just wanted to sit instead of getting up between every course. Besides, I knew I'd be getting up again ...
... for a cheese course! Oh, above at the top of my plate was this formed pasta thing with some kind of cream and cheese ... omg. Oh, and you see I did get salad and veggies, as well as penne and couscous.
Yum!!!! (I'm not doing dairy at the moment, so this photo, below, is killing me!) That's a pear sitting up top and if you look closely, you can spy the banana in the top left corner that I threw in my purse for later.
And then, I had to have dessert! I'm not so much of a dessert person normally ... just a chocolate person, but I really couldn't resist. I guess, that's obvious.
The thing that looks like scrambled eggs, was actually some kind of custard thing, I think ... then I tried the raspberry dessert (up top) and whatever yummy mysterious confection that was in the front.
It was all very yummy and I was happy to have splurged a little on the buffet. It was still less than my touristy pasta I had my first night in the city!
I was very happy I made it up there. What a building! It was pretty easy to get there too. I was already at Piazza del Popolo, just south of the Flaminio Metro Station.
If you are at the Metro A Flaminio stop, at the north side of Piazzale Flaminio, there is an outdoor tram that takes you north to the Apollodoro stop. Then you are at Via Guido Reni. Head west a short distance, in a cute neighborhood, and you are there.
If you are worried about missing the stop, do what I did and ask a nice Italian girl, and she'll signal you when to exit. The tram was very nice, by way.
Here's a video of the opening of MAXXI, and the awesome woman architect, who designed it - Zaha Hadid. Love her!
For more on MAXXI and how to find it, click here for their website.
One of the things I feel confident in saying we can do
is bring some excitement, and challenges,
to peoples lives.
We want them to be able to
embrace the unexpected.
architect of MAXXI