National Museum of the Spoleto Dukedom
The museum is located within the Fortress, in the upper part of the Spoleto’s historical centre.
The museum was founded to document the Dukedom’s history, born thanks to Lombards, Germanic population which broke the political unity of the Italian peninsula in the 6th century AD.
The Fortress was built according to the will of the Spanish Cardinal Egidio Albornoz from 1360. It was home to legates of the Pope and to Popes.
Today, with the gradual recovery of places and mural paintings that still decorate its walls, the complex finally regained its old primitive charm after having been used for a long time as prison.
The museum offers an interesting document of knowledge of the Spoleto territory from the 4th to the 15th century and at the same time illustrates, through panels, the beauty of the frescoed rooms displaying the artworks.
Opened in 2007, the museum was born thanks to a project collecting artworks and materials already partially housed in the premises of the Civic Museum and of the Art Gallery, useful to document the origin, development and the several historical as well as cultural effects of the Lombard Spoleto Dukedom.
The Museum, consisting of two parts around the courtyard of honour, one on the ground floor and the other one on the first floor, comprises 15 halls.
Overalls the artworks collection covers a period of time from the 4th century AD, with recordings of the first Christian communities, to the 15th century.
The museum, thought as appropriate instrument to get to know the city and the territory, aims at letting the visitor perceive the complex historical events that concerned it and at the same time its cultural vibrancy also after the Dukedom fall.
The itinerary starts from the 4th century by showing the first Christian communities with materials coming from the funerary areas and from the neighbouring places of worship and by placing emphasis on the monasticism phenomenon. The path goes on with artworks ranging from the 6th to the 9th century showing the local artistic evolution and it ends with sculptures and paintings from the 12th to the 15th century that record the extraordinary artistic flowering of the city and the territory such as the Triptych of Our Lady of Graces by Niccolò di Liberatore.
The itinerary is completed by illustrative panels that explain the historical function of each area.
The Albornoz Fortress is located in the highest point of the city, on top of the St. Elia hill and is not served by public transport. For those interested to visit the beautiful town, there are three practical mechanized itineraries connecting the newest and lowest part of the city to the highest and most ancient one. One itinerary leaves from the “Ponzianina” car park and through escalators reaches the Dom. Another one, instead, leaves from the “Posterna” car park and allows to reach Piazza Campello through travelators and elevators, through an underground itinerary with exits located at the New Theatre, Piazza Pianciani and Piazza del Mercato. A third itinerary connects, through underground travelators, the “SpoletoSfera” car park to Piazza della Libertà.
From here, walking through Corso Mazzini until the end you can reach Piazza Pianciani, where it’s possible to resume the above-mentioned itinerary.
In order to reach the Fortress, it’s recommended to use the “Posterna” itinerary because it’s the most direct one and it is all indoor until the Fortress’ exit.
Therefore, once arrived at the terminal of Piazza Campello, you can go up through one of the two available lifts, provided with an external and internal Braille as well as a raised button panel, and with light and vocal signals of floors.
When you go out, you will find yourself on the pedestrian asphalt road of the “Fortress Tour” that is an itinerary all around the same fortress; if you go right, you will find the opening hallway to the lifts going up to the Fortress in Largo Luigi Antonini, always equipped with an external and internal Braille as well as a raised button panel, and with light and vocal signals of floors.
For those willing to reach the Fortress with their own transport, you must bear in mind that the facility is located within the LTZ (LIMITED TRAFFIC ZONE), therefore it’s necessary to send by fax to the number 0743-218074 the two-sided copy of the disabled coupon, by also mentioning the plate of the car and the transit day. All must be done previously or within 72 hours of the transit. Alternatively, you can also go personally to the Municipal Police command centre, located in Piazza Garibaldi 42, in the lower part of the city, under the two entrance arches.
After having parked in the Piazza Campello area, you can take the pedestrian walkway that turns around the Fortress. You can pass by the entrance to the lifts leading to the underground itinerary of the treadmills and go on for about 150 metres, until reaching the lifts going up to the Fortress, as already described above.
For disabled people it’s possible to reach with one’s own car the Fortress’ interior, in proximity of the Museum’s entrance and park there for the duration of the visit. It’s necessary to call the number 0743-224952 (Ticket Office) or the number 0743- 223055 (janitors) to notify of the arrival and get directions.
The museum can be visited by people with motor difficulties and who need aids such as the wheelchair. The entrance to guide dogs is allowed to facilitate the visit by people with impaired sight and blind. You can receive information about a possible personalized visit by calling the “System Museum” cooperative at the number 0743- 46434 or directly the ticket office at the number 0743-224952.
Audio guides are not available in the facility.