The Mario Praz House Museum

The Mario Praz House Museum
Detail of the interior of the Casa Museo Mario Praz. Photo: Annalisa P. Cignitti

One of Rome’s most fascinating house museums is found a short walk from Piazza Navona, in via Zanardelli, on the third floor of the historic Palazzo Primoli: the former residence of Mario Praz (Rome, 1896–1982), essayist, art and literature critic, sophisticated art collector and celebrated Anglist whose research was focused mainly on England between the 17th century and the Victorian Age.

Praz lived here between 1969 and 1982, and it has been open to the public since 1995, offering visitors a vast collection comprising more than 1,200 objects and furnishings collected over the course of his life and during his travels, left just as he himself arranged them. It is a flat filled with magic and beauty, where private space is transformed into a place of wonders. The ten rooms take visitors on a journey where the story of the individual objects intertwines with the memory of their owner’s life. Paintings of views of Italian cities and portraits of rulers, sculptures, French bronzes, German porcelain, English furniture, silver and marble ranging from Neoclassical to Biedermeier in style, all acquired through his activity as a collector and an antiquarian and reflecting his desire to live not only surrounded by beauty but immersed in it.

The Mario Praz House Museum
Mario Praz House Museum. Courtesy Polo Museale Lazio

The museum, for which admission is free of charge, is not to be missed, an immersive experience of a world made up of research, travel, culture and different times: a home steeped in fascination where art and life co-existed and indeed still do today.

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