Art Nouveau in Rome: the Galleria Sciarra is a lovely, quick break

Pretty!
Pretty!

Art Nouveau is not typically associated with Rome, but there are a few architectural gems that feature the swirling, floral designs that characterize this style. The Galleria Sciarra is one such gem, tucked away off of the Via del Corso and comprised of only a building courtyard (so it’s good for a few minutes of gawking in the shade, but isn’t really a destination). The insanely lovely murals of the Galleria Sciarra are well worth a few moments away from the terrible commercialized hell that is the Corso.

So many details!
So many details!
Imagine looking out on to this courtyard every day.
Imagine looking out on to this courtyard every day.

Technically a private courtyard, but open during business hours, the images–believe it or not–depict the “Glorification of Women” and include models of feminine virtue (or at least those virtues that would’ve been current in the 1880s). Painted by Giuseppe Cellini, the courtyard is a perfect break from the heat as it’s covered and QUIET. A few businessmen strolled through while I was staring at the paintings, but otherwise I had this lovely place to myself. Next time I pop by I think I would bring binoculars though, there are so many little details!

Virtuous Ladies
Virtuous Ladies
Of course. What else.
Of course. What else.
From the outside. Fancy windows, but you'd never know what was hiding inside....
From the outside. Fancy windows, but you’d never know what was hiding inside….

It just goes to show, while the pretty soft colors of Rome’s buildings are enchanting, the INSIDES are actually what are the most interesting! And the Galleria Sciarra is another great example that (much like the STUNNING Quartiere Coppedè), Rome is not just ancient and Renaissane piles. I love the 19th and 20th century stuff that seems to be hiding in plain sight. And luckily, like so many of my favorite things in Rome, I get them all to myself!

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