National Archaeological Museum - Perugia - National Archaeological Museum - Perugia
Since 1948 the Museum has occupied the area of the Dominican Convent complex, built over an earlier 13th century church that stood where the main cloister is today, which in the course of the centuries has been enlarged until assuming its current aspect.
With the occupation of the Napoleonic troops and the Italian process of unification, the complex was transformed to host military barracks, changing dramatically the original design: the cavalry was housed in the cloister, the stables were placed in the oratory and the old church was transformed into a refectory on two levels. During the Second World War the complex was occupied by German militias, then by the Allied troops and finally by refugees.
Since 1945, when it was handed over to the Municipality, it has become a place of culture, hosting the State Archives and Civic Museums. Apart from admiring the architectural complex of San Domenico, whose cloister—one among the largest and notable in town—allows a good view of the church's imposing tower bell, a visit to the Archaeological Museum represents a precious opportunity to be acquainted with the collections of Etruscan finds. These are among the richest in Italy, gathered above all in the course of the 19th century excavations in the necropolises around Perugia.
Next to the most ancient finds, the visitors can appreciate the numerous materials coming from the excavations that followed the start of the Superintendence of the Archaeological Heritage (1964) that are displayed in accordance with the most modern exhibition criteria. Furthermore, a significant amount of pre-historical finds completes the exhibition.
The Museum hosts the pre-historical and Etruscan-Roman collections, which were gathered starting from the 19th century by the illustrious scholars who as curators took over the responsibility of managing and preserving the archaeological heritage of the town, which at the time was an important center for Etruscan archaeological studies.
The central nucleus of the exhibition mostly contains material from the territory and the excavations in the necropolises of Perugia, which can be dated from the Archaic and the Hellenistic Ages, like the Cai Cutu Sarcophagus in Sperandio and the exceptional complex of archaic bronze coming from Castel San Mariano, as well as the Cai Cutu hypogeum reconstruction—as per the original arrangement—in a separate section located in the basement. Both levels of the Loggia in the cloister display the Etruscan-Roman Lapidarium composed of many cinerary urns, funerary cippus—i.e. memorial stones—and marble slabs with Latin inscriptions.
Pre-proto-historical material from diverse contexts in central Italy—Umbria, Tuscany, Marche and Abruzzo—along with the Bellucci Collection and the finds from the settlement of the Tuscan village of Cetona are placed in the upper floor. In the large Hall of the Bronzes, which has hosted for almost half a century the rich collections of proto-historical items that belonged to Giuseppe Bellucci and Umberto Calzoni, a new section has been arranged following the most recent museum criteria. This section illustrates the dynamics of the development of the Umbrian and Etruscan civilizations, the former settled on the left riverbank of the Tiber, while the latter on the right side, with the river as a figurative the central corridor.
For those travelling with their own vehicles, some car parks reserved for the disabled are located along Corso Cavour. Upon advance notice by phone to the number +39 075 5727141, it’s possible to drive to the cloister with one’s own car and park there for the duration of the visit. The facility can also be reached by public transportation: the nearest bus stop is in the “Tre archi” stop, about 200 metres from the entrance of the Museum along Corso Cavour.
Fonte Regione Umbria - Servizio Musei e soprintendenza ai beni librari