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Archaelogical Museum

The Runners in the Archaeological Museum of Naples
The Runners in the Archaeological Museum of Naples

The works of the building that houses the Archeological Museum of Naples carried out between 1582 and 1586 by order of the Duke of Ossuna and designed by the architect Giulio Cesare Fontana. It had to be the Royal Riding School, but when they realized that there was no water in that place, the stable was abandoned. In 1615 it was inaugured as the "Palace of Royal Studies", the seat of the University of Naples. When the university moved elsewhere in 1777, King Ferdinand IV commissioned the restauration of the building from the architect Ferdinando Fuga in order to adapt it to accommodate the Bourbon Museum and Royal Library.

In 1797 this building housed the Herculaneum Museum, the Picture Gallery and the very famous Farnsese Collection which Charles of Bourbon inherited from his mother Elisabetta Farnese, wife of Philip, in 1731. During the XVIII and the XIX centuries the museum continued to receive a lot of artifacts, both from private collections and from excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, Paestum, Cuma or elsewhere in Southern Italy.

These archaeological treasures represent one of the most comprehensive and complete Greek and Roman collections in the world. The musuem could be divided into different sections:

  • Marble and bronze statues: worthy of note are “The Lance bearer” by Policletus, Farnese Hercules, the bas-relief of Orfeus and Eurydice, Farnese Bull.
  • Collection of gems
  • Egyptian section
  • Mosaics: this section is one of the most important in the world: we can mention in particular the biggest mosaic floor in the world “TheBattle of Alexander”, the biggest mosaic floor in the world representing great Macedonian emperor. Once it paved the floor in the Casa del Fauno at Pompeii. In addition other mosaics portraying animals, scenes from every-day life, musicians and even Plato with his students are kept.
  • Section dedicated to the “Pisoni Villa” where statues from that big dwelling are kept
  • Silverware, glazed earthenware and weapon collection
  • Frescos mostly coming from the ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae
  • Vases

The Naples Archaeological Museum is recognized as having the finest and most complete collection of works of art, objects and documentation from classical times. This collection includes over 20,000 items, produced according to object type and in inventory sequence. Items include bronzes, ceramics, sculpture, wall paintings, jewellery, terracotta items, objects in gold and silver, ivories, mosaics, utensils, Latin inscriptions and frescoes. The collection depicts portraits, still lives, mythical subjects, scenes from daily life, and erotic works of the museo segreto. It documents beliefs, personalities, religions and views of the outside world.

Opening Timetable for Visitors and References

Piazza Museo
Tel. 081440166
Opening Timetable:
Weekday 9.00 - 19.30
Sunday and Holidays 9.00 - 19.30
The ticket office closes at 18.00
Tuesday closed
Admittance: Euro 6,50 for visitors aged between 18 and 65, for the other visitors for free

Via Santa Lucia, 15
CAP 80067 - Sorrento (Naples)
ITALY -P.Iva 04450101219

Mob.: (+39) 3339854117
(also whatsapp)