After visiting Rome's many old, art-cluttered palaces, the Centrale Montemartini feels like a breath of fresh air. Rome's first electricity plant, reopened as a permanent museum in 2005, houses the overflow of ancient art from the Capitoline Museum's collection. With Roman sculptures and mosaics set against industrial machinery and pipes, nowhere else in Rome is the contrast between ancient and modern more stark—or enjoyable. A pleasure, too, is the sheer space of the
building; even better than the soaring ceilings and high walls is the fact that you're likely to be one of the only visitors here, making it the perfect stop for those feeling claustrophobic from Rome's crowds. Unusually, the collection is organized by the area where the ancient pieces were found. Standout pieces include the 4th-century AD mosaic of a hunting scene, complete with horseman driving his sword into a boar, and the two portrait-heads so well preserved that they still, unusually, retain flakes of the gold that once gilded them.