Are you visiting Rome with kids and running out of ideas to keep them entertained? Fret not, we’ve got the perfect suggestion for you. We visited the newly opened Museo della Luce, Museum of Light, in Rome’s city center and had an incredible immersive experience.
It’s worth saying that we went with our 4-year-old who is very difficult to please and keep focused. Initially, I was a bit worried because going to a museum with my son is a scary thought indeed. Yet, he loved it.
A cool addition to your Rome bucket list, this unconventional art exhibition is set to become a popular stop for travelers of all ages and preferences.
But what is Rome’s Museum of Light and what can you expect from your visit? Discover it with us!
Visiting Museo della Luce in Rome – Full guide + our experience
Where is Museo della Luce set?
Rome’s Museum of Light is set in the main House of the Jesuits, the order founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
It was built in the early 17th century after a disastrous flood of the Tiber in 1598 that destroyed the first residence of the order, the actual mother house, where the same Saint Ignatius had lived for many years.
Funded by Cardinal Odoard from the powerful Farnese clan, Girolamo Rainaldi was the architect in charge of the construction project that went on for 24 years between 1599 and 1623.
The exhibition sprawls over a space of 1,000 square meters. Light installations sit side by side with scientific and artistic inventions.
In fact, the artistic expressions connected to light and optics are displayed together with the discoveries that changed the world in many aspects, from photography to laser technology, from ancient Egyptian culture of the sun to today’s solar panels and clean energy.
The exhibition consists of an immersive educational experience that even young children can have thanks to the heavily interactive entertainment. Together with your kids you can draw with light, create your own light installation, enter a UV room, and play with mirror reflections.
Out experience at Rome’s Museo della Luce
As soon as we stepped over the threshold of Rome’s new Museo della Luce, a team of young experts led us into the world of light in its many facets.
From charming reflections to playful shadows, our itinerary was one of learning and fun.
We started our tour by watching a fascinating story where the paintings on the wall move and transform themselves. This is the work of Lithuanian artist Simonas Šileika, known for animated artwork, video production, and web design.
The reproduction of famous masterpieces such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night and The Son of Man of Magritte will come to life and interact with each other in a magical visual tale that will have adults and kids glued to their chairs in awe.
This was the perfect beginning to have my son excited for the rest of the tour, a sequence of fascinating experiences that combine bits of science, history, and art.
Almost all the installations are up to touch (for the joy of my son who has to touch *everything*). While most are straightforward to understand how to use them, some are not. This is when the explanations come in very handy and helpful to let you fully enjoy them.
With the whole family, we felt we were stepping into a parallel dimension of illusions, special effects, moving mirrors, faces that followed us, polarized artworks, 3D-based modern lithophanes where you can see the light through the oculus of the Pantheon by pressing a button.
When the installations were too tall, there was a small footstool for my son to reach and join the fun.
Whether you are traveling alone, with friends, or with your family, it’s worth including this new acquisition among Rome’s museums to spend a couple of hours of fun and learning.
Intimidating shadows, colorful reflections, and funny photo opportunities will define your one-of-a-kind day in Rome’s city center.
Who is Rome’s Museum of Light for
Each of the visitors to the Museum of Light will have a different experience depending on their background. A history student will love digging into the origins of cinema and photography, while a science lover will be fascinated by the techniques behind the artwork.
- Cinema fans. Cinema is heavily linked to studying the light in its many forms and facets and throughout the exhibition, fans will appreciate the experience and the explanations.
- Photographers. Just like cinema, photography fully relies on light so photographers will find themselves at home exploring the interplays and illusions the exhibition offers.
- History buffs. If you are a fan of history, chances are you will take some time reading the interesting panels that accompany all the discoveries linked to light.
- Science enthusiasts. Similar to history, science is very much present in the studies surrounding light and how it has been used throughout the centuries.
- Artists. From the first installation where famous paintings are transformed into a story, the museum is rich in art and special effects.
- Students. Students can dig deeper into the origins of cinema and photography.
- Children. Children of all ages will love immersing in the captivating illusions and games of lights and shades.
Reasons to visit Rome’s Light Museum
- The whole family will like it. This was my main concern when I went with my toddler, but the exhibition fully passed the test, keeping him entertained and amazed from minute one until the end of our visit.
- You will learn a lot. Every installation has its own description and explanation that will help you understand more and enjoy them.
- You will actually have fun. Based on interactive installations, this is not a standard museum where you only read and learn but you can take a full part in the exhibition.
- It’s easy to reach. Right next to Piazza Venezia and a short walk from Largo Argentina, you are likely to walk past the museum even without aiming to. In the heart of Rome’s historic center, you can easily reach the exhibition from wherever you are by bus or on foot.
- Where: Via d’Aracoeli 6.
- Opening hours: Every day 10 am-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday until 8 pm.
- How to get there: Bus 64, tram 8, metro A Spagna.
- Tickets: Adults 18€, students and retired 13€, pre-school children 6€, free for under 3 years old, family ticket 2 adults+2 kids 53€. Online booking 4€.
- How to book: You can book online from the official website or purchase your ticket directly at the ticket office of the museum. Prior reservation is mandatory for groups of more than 10 people by calling +393807440484 from Monday to Friday or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the number of visitors, preferred visiting time, and the information of the person making the booking.
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