Centrale Montemartini

The Centrale Montemartini was a power station built on the Via Ostiense just outside the city walls of Rome in 1912 by the public utility company now called ACEA. It was named after the economist Giovanni Montemartini (1867-1913), professor of political economy at the University of Padua. The power station survived the Second World War without damage, but it ceased generating in 1963. It stood derelict for three decades during which there were proposals that never materialised to use it as a museum of technology. Nevertheless the building, which is in the Art Deco style, was restored, and in 1997 was the setting for an exhibition ‘Machines and the Gods’ which displayed some statues of the classical era from the Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museum) which was then under restoration. It was subsequently decided to create a permanent display in the Centrale Montemartini which opened in 2005. The 400 Greek and Roman statues, busts and frescoes vary in date from the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD.  Many were discovered during road-building operations in the 1920s and 30s when the government of Benito Mussolini was attempting to re-order the city to accommodate increasing numbers of motor vehicles. The statues are displayed amongst the machines that formed the power station, including a gigantic steam turbine of 1917, boilers 15 m. high, alternators, large diesel engines and control panels.

Centrale Montemartini
Via Ostiense 106
00154 Rome
+39 (0) 657 - 48042