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Best Archaeology Museums in Italy

Got a favorite cultural epoch? Look in Italy's Top Archaeological Museums


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James Martin
Here are our favorite archeology museums in Italy. Want to know where they keep the iceman? Want to learn about cultures from the Paleolithic to the middle ages? Our favorite museums aren't all about Italy, either. The largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts is kept in Turin. Below are our picks for best archeological museums in Italy.

Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale - National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Given its location in Campania (map), close to Pompeii and Herculanium, you'd expect the National Museum of Archeology in Naples to feature loads of interesting artifacts from the Roman era, and it won't fail to please. From the erotic condoned off in the Camera Segretto to the mundane objects of everyday use, this is the best place to go to learn about Italy's past.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
Piazza Museo 19, 80135 Napoli
Tel. 0039.081.440166 - Fax 0039.081.440013

National Archaeological Museum Chiusi

The countryside around Chiusi is peppered with Etruscan tombs; you can get a guided tour at certain hours when you visit the museum. This is the place to see Etruscan artifacts, but there's also Greek and Roman remains in the museum as well. Also see the Porsenna Maze, an underground route first dug by the Etruscans that passes under the historic center of Chiusi and ends at a 13th century bell tower, from which there are wonderful views.

via Porsenna
53043 Chiusi
tel./fax: 0578/20177
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9a.m.-2p.m. Sundays and holidays 9a.m.-1p.m.

Taranto National Archaeological Museum

Taranto, nestled in the instep of Italy's boot, was the heart of the Magna Grecia, greater Greece. Spartans settled here to take advantage of Taranto's geographical position. Remarkable for both the quality and quantity of artifacts, the Museum is one of the oldest in Southern Italy.

Corso Umberto I, 42
74100 Taranto
phone 099/4532112-4532113

Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna - Civic Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Greek, Romen, Etruscan and Egyptian relics are found here. I really enjoyed this museum in the heart of Bologna.

Via dell'Archiginnasio 2
40124 Bologna
Tel. 051-27.57.211

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology - Bolzano

Here's where you can see Otzi, the Iceman who was climbing on the Schnalstal glacier where he died and mummified and has provided scientists with a snapshot of what life must have been like 5000 years ago. More about the Iceman

Via Museo /Museumstraße 43
I- 39100 Bolzano/Bozen

Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi - Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum - Syracuse, Sicily

Named after Paolo Orsi, director of the Museum of Sicily in Syracuse for thirty years, the Syracuse Archaeology museum is an ultra-modern building that contrasts nicely with the antiquities outside, which run from the paleolithic through the Greek, Roman, and early Christian eras of Sicily.

Viale Teocrito 66, In the gardens of the Villa Landolina
Tel. 0931-464022
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 1pm. Monday and Wednesday 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Museo Egizie di Torino - Egyptian Museum of Turin

Italians have always had a fascination with Egyptian art, and Turin has the bulk of the stuff brought back to Italy starting with the Savoys in the 17th century. According to the literature, the Egyptian Museum of Turin is the only museum outside of the Cairo Museum dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture. The 18th century building was remodeled to be ready for visitors from the 2006 Olympic games in Turin. Turn museum-goers might benefit by purchasing a Torino-card, available from Select Italy.

Via Accademia delle Scienze 6
Open: 8:30-7:30 Daily

Museo Archeologico di Firenze - Florence Archeological Museum

A museum noted for its Egyptian and Etruscan collections and the building it's all housed in, the 15th century Palazzo della Crocetta.

Via della Colonna, 36
Tel. +39 055 23575
Hours: Monday: 14.00-19.00; Tuesday and Thursday: 8.30-19.00; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 8.30-14.00
Advance Tickets: SelectItaly

Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano di Lipari - Lipari Archaeological Museum

The obsidian deposits on the volcanic Lipari islands have contributed to an especially large neolithic collection at the archaeological museum of Lipari. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, and Turks have also visited and throughout history have become part of the heritage of the islands and left their records for us to see.

Via del Castello
Winter Hours Daily: 9.00-13.30 / 15.00-18.00 Summer Hours Daily: 9.00-13.30/ 16.00-19.00. Tel. 090/9880174

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