Arezzo‘s National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Statale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate) is housed in an old 14th century monastery built on the ruins of a Roman Amphitheater. The oldest items in the collection date back to Etruscan times.
Archaeological Museum Arezzo
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale is Via Margaritone, 10 – 52100 Arezzo (tel. +39 0575-20882). Bus: LF1D, LF1S, LF2, LF3, LF7, LF9, LF11, LF13, LFS2, LFS6 and LFS22. Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 15:00 to 19:00; Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 08:30 to 13:30. Entrance fee: 6.00 Euro (discount: 3.00 Euro for EU residents between 19 and 25 years old; free for EU residents under 19). Free on the first Sunday of the month.
History and description
The museum, which has 26 rooms, is named after Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, whose name has become proverbial for patrons of the arts. Maecenas, who hailed from Arezzo, was one of Emperor Augustus‘ most important advisors.
It is housed in the Monastery of the Montolivetani di San Bernardo, built on the ruins of the ancient Roman Amphitheater of Arezzo. The vaults of this amphitheater from the time of Emperor Adrian can still be seen in the second floor of the museum.
The museum was founded in 1823. It has seen its collection grow, especially after it was merged with the one of the Fraternity of the Laity (Fraternita dei Laici) and with finds from excavations in the 19th and 20th centuries.
On the first floor, the rooms are divided topographically, while those on the second floor have a thematic layout. Also, certain rooms on these floors are dedicated to the collections of private collectors donated to the museum.
What to see
Part of the museum is dedicated to the Etruscan and Villanovan civilizations. A highlight is formed by the jewelry found in the necropolis of Poggio del Sole.
A pediment with multi-colored images of a battle, from Piazza San Jacopo (480 BC).
From the sanctuary of Castelsecco a large number of objects are on display, including a stone with inscriptions that was used for divination.
The Casalta amphora from the 5th century BC on which a painting from the school of Meidias can be seen.
One of the two quinipodiums still in existence. This is a large bronze coin with three Etruscan letters and seven rays.
In the Roman section, among other things, there are many vases that come from the Arezzo area itself, mostly dating from a period between the 1st centuries BC and AD.
A statue of Empress Livia.
A 3rd century portrait of a man made with a technique of painting with gold paint on glass.