Once a state of the art power station, the early 20th-century Centrale Montemartini was chosen in the late 1990s to house part of the collection of the Capitoline Museums during work on the atrium (which was being built to house Marcus Aurelius).
The temporary exhibition ‘Machines and Gods’ was such a success that it became permanent. Ancient statuary is set off beautifully by the industrial setting; fauns and Minervas, bacchic revellers and Apollos are all oddly at home against the imposing machinery of the decommissioned generating station. Highlights include incredibly detailed mosaics depicting marine themes, a spectacular early fourth century mosaic depicting a hunting scene, pediment decorations which once adorned the Temple of Apollo Sosianus next to the Theatre of Marcellus, and the giant head and foot of a goddess found at Largo Argentina. Occasional musical events, including jazz concerts among the statues, are not to be missed.