It was designed by the architects Pietro Ascheri, D. Bernardini and Cesare Pascoletti1 (1939-1941). Its 59 sections illustrate the history of Roman civilization, from the origins to the 4th century, with models and reproductions, as well as original material. The premises are shared with a planetarium.
It houses, among other things:
a model of Archaic Rome (Room XVIII)
a famous scale model of ancient Rome in the age of Constantine I by Italo Gismondi (Room XXXVII-XXXVIII): derived from the Forma Urbis Romae map and integrated with archeological discoveries. This model is at a 1:250 scale and is made of plaster. The model was begun in 1935 and completed in 1971. This model is today the most important reference for any serious attempt of reconstruction of the Ancient Rome: it has been used for the "Rome Reborn 1.0" 3D Visualization Project (B. Frischer, Director, University of Virginia; D. Favro, Associate Director, UCLA; D. Abernathy, Director of 3D Modeling, University of Virginia; G. Guidi, Director of 3D Scanning, Politecnico di Milano). Gismondi's model can be seen also in a few shots of the Movie "Gladiator" by R. Scott.