About Museo del Sannio di Benevento
Museo del Sannio (The Samnite Museum) in Benevento, Italy, is an archaeological and historical museum housing finds from this region of Campania. Amongst its collections, Museo del Sannio houses Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman pieces as well as those from the Samnite era and includes its Room of Caudium, Room of Isis and the Trajan exhibition.
Museo del Sannio di Benevento history
The museum’s original incarnation was as an archaeological museum founded in 1806 by Talleyrand, then Prince of Benevento, in a former Jesuit house. After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, the building returned to use as a college by the Jesuits, but continued housing the collection. In 1873, the province founded a new Sannio Museum to gather and buy material from individuals from the territory.
By 1929, the museum was dually housed in both the Rocca dei Rettore and the complex of Santa Sofia, purchased for the museum, library and provincial archive. The Rocca dei Rettore, where the museum was headquartered, was originally the site of a Roman reservoir. The Lombards used the site for military purposes, building a walled fortress that was continually expanded upon until the 19th century when it was used as a prison before becoming the museum.
The collections continued to grow after World War Two as material was discovered while clearing rubble from bombings, and the sections were reorganised. Director Elio Galasso in 1973 opened the museum to contemporary culture, including painting, installations, music and theatre. Restoration to the Santa Sofia cloisters was completed in 1999.
Museo del Sannio di Benevento today
Today, without charge you can spend several hours wandering over 10 rooms split into Benevento’s ancient Roman and Greek history and culture, before travelling forwards in time to the Baroque and Renaissance periods. The museum boasts objects from ceramics to paintings, as well as the Rooms of the Langobardia Minor that display weapons and inscriptions in early Christian characters from Benevento’s Lombard period.
The arts section largely consists of galleries displaying the work of local artists, including the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints which holds a copy of Leda by Leonardo da Vinci.
Getting to the Museo del Sannio di Benevento
The Museo del Sannio di Benevento is located an 8 minute walk from the town’s bus station, from which you can get the Flixbus or route Y. At the other end of the Viale dei Rettori, Benevento bus stop is on the SAPS line. For those driving, the museum is a 7 minute walk from the Parcheggio Car Park behind the Cathedral of Saint Mary.