Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca Cortona

The Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca, founded in 1727, is located in the Palazzo Casali in Cortona. Its collection includes Etruscan and Roman objects as well as paintings by Italian masters. Since 2005 it has been known as MAEC – Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona.

Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca Cortona

Address, opening hours and entrance fee

Address MAEC: . Opening hours: From November 1 to March 31, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (closed on Mondays) and from April 1 to October 31, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm (open every day). Closed: December 25. Entrance fee: 10 Euro (discount: 7 Euro). There is an elevator for the disabled and a guide in Braille.

History and Description

Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca Cortona (Musa Polimnia)
Musa Polimnia

The Accademia Etrusca was founded, at the same time as the library, in 1727. The Palazzo Casali, also called Palazzo Pretorio, dates back to the 13th century. It consists of four floors. Two of these are underground. These once formed the city’s prison and are now used for the Etruscan and Roman part of the collection. The rooms on the piano nobile display the original collection of the old Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca.


Antiquity and Middle Ages

The first halls display fossils of prehistoric animals found in the area.

A highlight from the Etruscan era is a large bronze oil lamp decorated with satyrs and mermaids from the 4th century BC.

Archaic jewelry can be seen from the Etruscan hypogea known as the Meloni (“melons”). The Archaic period, in terms of Etruscan art, fell between 575 and 480 B.C. The objects found in the tumulus show the opulence of the deceased, who were buried with vases, chalices, jewels and objects to protect and accompany the deceased in the afterlife.

Especially beautiful are the mosaics from the Villa di Ossaia in La Tufa.

Egyptian culture is represented with a funeral boat, two mummies and two richly decorated sarcophagi, among other things.

All kinds of objects from the Middle Ages are on display, including coins, jewelry, medallions, seals, miniatures and costumes.

Painting Highlights

The paintings collected cover the period between the 13th and 19th centuries.

Pinturicchio, “Madonna and St. John.”

Luca Signorelli, “Nativity” and a tondo representing the “Virgin with Child and Saints.” The saints are (Michele, Vincenzo, Margherita and Marco) are all linked in some way to Cortona. The latter holds a model of the city. Signorelli, by the way, was himself from Cortona.

Pietro da Cortona, “Madonna and Saints” (1626-1628).

Anonymous, “Crucifixion” (Pisan school).

Bicci di Lorenzo, “Madonna with Child and Saints,” painted between 1425 and 1430, in a late Gothic style.

Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca Cortona