About Florence Archaeological Museum
Florence Archaeological Museum, or ‘Museo archeologico nazionale di Firenze’, offers a diverse collection of antiquities. The most impressive and comprehensive collection is probably the archaeological museum’s exhibit of Etruscan art, which includes the world famous Chimera of Arezzo statue which dates to 400 BC.
History of Florence Archaeological Museum
Upon its inauguration in 1870, the museum was located in the buildings of the Cenacolo di Fuligno – ‘The Last Supper of Fuligno’ – in the former convent of Sant’Onofrio, or the Nuns of Foligno. At that time, it was only made up of Roman and Etruscan remains.
The collection grew, and from 1880 the museum was transferred into its present building at Palazzo della Crocetta, which is a palace that was built in 1620 for princess Maria Maddalena de’ Medici.
The first staple collections were the family collections of the Medici and Lorraine. During the first half of the 18th century, the Egyptian collection was formed, and in 1887 a new museum about the Etruscans was added, though it was unfortunately destroyed by floods in 1966.
Florence Archaeological Museum Today
Today, the museum is one of the oldest in Italy, and documents the history of Florence since it was first founded in 59 AD. Its collection of artefacts and art are responsible for the European phenomenon of birthing museums as state institutions which document and inform the past and future of the nation.
It holds a number of important remains, such as the ‘Chimera’, a votive bronze statue found in 1553. There are also statues of Arringatore and Minerva, as well as terracotta and travertine urns from Volterra, and Greek ceramic vases with black figures.
Florence Archaeological Museum also exhibits artefacts from Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek times. Its ancient Egyptian collection is of particular importance is said to be the most significant in Italy after Museo Egizio in Turin.
Among its over 14,000 artefacts are a number of remarkable items, such as stele, mummies, ushabti, amulets, and bronze statuettes.
The baroque Villa Corsini a Castello near Florence forms a separate section of the museum, displaying predominantly Ancient Roman and Etruscan sculptures.
Located on the stunning Piazza Santisima Annunziata, the museum is only a small distance from a number of famous and picturesque attractions. These include Florence Cathedral, the Neptune fountain, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery.
Getting to Florence Archaeological Museum
From the centre of Florence, the museum is a 15 minute walk via Via dei Servi and Via del Proconsolo. By car, it takes longer – 23 minutes – via the SS67 road, and there are also a number of connecting bus services that take around 30 minutes and depart every 10 minutes or so.