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T+L's Definitive Guide to Rome

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Photo: Danilo Scarpati

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Rome’s contemporary art scene is booming: four venues not to miss.

Palazzo delle Esposizioni: This 1883 palazzo is once again the jewel in the city’s cultural crown. After a five-year renovation, the more than 100,000-square-foot gallery hosts accessible shows that put challenging works face to face with expository exhibits that span centuries.

MAXXI: If the Palazzo delle Esposizioni is lots of things to a wide audience, the Zaha Hadid–designed National Museum of XXI Century Arts proposes a more resolutely modern agenda: solo shows from first-rate artists such as South African William Kentridge share space with architecture retrospectives celebrating talents such as Carlo Scarpa.

Gagosian Gallery Rome: Housed in a 1921 former bank, Gagosian’s first European outpost outside of London has become a fixture since it opened in 2007. From Cy Twombly to Rachel Feinstein, whose fantastical, multimedia installation marked her Rome debut, the consistent flow of marquee names is no surprise.

Galleria Lorcan O’Neill: In Trastevere sits one of Rome’s most esteemed galleries, run by Lorcan O’Neill, an Irish dealer formerly based in London who brought with him Kiki Smith, Rachel Whiteread, and others of a similarly blue-chip stature. The shows are all top-tier, but the multilingual staff is welcoming to browsers of all knowledge levels.

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