Crypta Balbi


Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31

Tel. +39 06 3996 7700

Opening hours Open 9:00-19:45, with last entry one hour before. Closed Mondays, Jan 1st and December 25th.

Ticket prices Entry costs €7.00, concessions €3.50. The ticket also allows entry to Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, and the Baths of Diocletian.

Despite its central location, Crypta Balbi is an unusual and relatively obscure museum. It is a venue of two parts: the collections on the ground and first floors, and the archaeological remains in the basement.

The museum and collections

The bulk of the collections at Crypta Balbi are focussed on providing a sense of the urban history of Rome, with the evolving layout of the streets. Exhibits include items from Palazzo Venezia and the Capitoline Museums, as well as from the Forums. There are also frescos that were originally in the church of Santa Maria in Via Lata, and pieces of the Forma Urbis Romae, a giant marble map of Rome created in the 3rd century by Septimius Severus.

The basement and archaeological remains

Below the museum, giving it both its name and its reason for existence, are the remains of the ancient city block, which includes the portico of the Theatre of Lucius Cornelius Balbus.

Visiting Crypta Balbi

Crypta Balbi is in a very central location, next to Largo di Torre Argentina and just a couple of minutes' walk west of Piazza del Campidolgio on the Capitoline Hill. Crypta Balbi is part of the National Museum of Rome, so the ticket can be used at their other sites if visited within three days. See above for the list of included sites.