Naples National Archeological Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Naples National Archeological Museum

Naples, Campania, Italy

Sarah Roller

23 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Giannis Papanikos / Shutterstock

About Naples National Archeological Museum

The Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) holds a comprehensive collection of Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artefacts, including most of the pieces found in Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, and is often described as the world’s finest collection of Graeco-Roman artefacts.

History of the Naples National Archaeological Museum

Much of the collections found in the museum were originally in private hands, compiled by wealthy collectors over the centuries. The building itself was originally a cavalry barracks, before being transformed into the seat of the University of Naples during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Naples National Archaeological Museum today

Some of the most famous exhibits at the Naples National Archaeological Museum include mosaics from the Roman towns and cities destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 AD, Greek sculptures by artists such as Calamis and Nesiotes and the third largest collection of Egyptian artefacts in the world.

The Gabinetto Segreto (Secret Cabinet) is also extremely popular. It’s a collection of ancient erotica, which itself has a turbulent history. For large periods of time it was extremely difficult to view, and only went on display in its current form in 2000. It’s still age-restricted today as many of the exhibits are quite explicit!

Look out for the mosaics of the House of the Faun, which include depictions of Alexander the Great battling Darius III. The museum is open 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays): allow several hours to explore its vast collections thoroughly.

Getting to the Naples National Archaeological Museum

The museum is slightly outside of the city centre: head to metro stop Museo, which is a couple of minutes walk from the museum’s entrance. Lots of buses stop on the Piazza Cavour, and the mainline train station Piazza Cavour is a 5 minute walk. There are several car parks nearby, but Naples’ traffic is notoriously chaotic, so avoid driving if possible.

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