MACRO is Rome’s answer to contemporary art museums. There are two locations: MACRO is in the Salario neighborhood a bit outside of the historical center, but is still seriously easy to get to, while MACRO Testaccio is, as the name implies in Testaccio– one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city– and also rather easy to get to. True facts though: there aren’t metro stops that go right to these places so you do have to brave the bus or the tram, which can be confusing and terrible because aside from the metro, Roman public transit is the WORST.
MACRO features a rotating crop of (generally weird, probably by artists you’ve never heard of) exhibitions and is housed in the former Peroni brewery. History! So fun. It’s actually a GREAT space, straightforward, and they hang the exhibitions well. There’s also an incredible roof-top patio, with a really great mural and that space alone makes MACRO worthy of a visit. And there’s pretty much nobody there. Winning for everybody!
Similarly, MACRO Testaccio also houses rotating exhibitions and is also an INCREDIBLE space. In this instance it is located in Rome’s former slaughterhouses, so giant meat hooks hang from the ceiling and it’s really a spectacular place to view art.
And of course at MACRO Testaccio is Big Bambu, which is SPECTACULAR. And while I’ve been wrong about this before it’s possible that Big Bambu might actually be closing this month? It opened in December of 2012 and the date for the exhibition on MACRO’s website says 11.12.2012-28.02.2015, which might imply that it’s going to close. In which case GO NOW. GO TO IT NOW. It is genuinely one of the coolest, loveliest site-specific installations I’ve ever seen. Go now.
Like regular MACRO, MACRO Testaccio gets basically zero visitors. And while the exhibitions they have at both institutions are not blockbuster big names at all, they’ll be thought provoking. And the spaces are amaaaaaaaaazing. So, I say go. And go quickly so you can see Big Bambu!!!