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Naples National Archaeological Museum

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza Museo, 18/19, 80135 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 2

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Secret Room (Gabinetto Segreto), which houses a fascinating collection of Roman erotica that was considered scandalous and kept hidden from the public for many years. For a less crowded experience, try to visit during the weekdays right when the museum opens or a couple of hours before it closes, as these are the times when there are usually fewer tourists."

What is Naples National Archaeological Museum?

The Naples National Archaeological Museum, or Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in Italian, is a treasure trove of ancient history located in the heart of Naples, Italy. It's renowned for its rich and priceless collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. From exquisite mosaics to classical sculptures, the artifacts housed here paint a vivid picture of life as it was thousands of years ago, particularly life in the nearby ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.

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The museum's holdings are not merely remnants; they're storytellers whispering tales of antiquity, resonating through halls lined with the past's masterpieces. If you're seeking a portal into the past where history is tangible, the Naples National Archaeological Museum is that threshold.

History of Naples National Archaeological Museum

The origins of the Naples National Archaeological Museum date back to the late 16th century when it was initially established as a cavalry barracks. It evolved over time, largely thanks to the Bourbon kings, who converted it into a museum in the late 18th century to display their personal collection of artifacts from around their kingdom, which included the Roman Empire's lost cities. The museum's lineage is as storied as the artifacts it holds, having gathered pieces from various private collections, including the Farnese collection which contributes significantly to its fame today.

Noteworthy is the fact that the buildings that comprise the museum served varying uses before settling into its current role. This illustrates an important theme throughout Naples' history: adaptability and a reverent dedication to preserving history. Inhabitants and us alike take pride in the effort to keep history alive within these walls, giving visitors an authentic sense of the past.

Why is Naples National Archaeological Museum Important?

The importance of the Naples National Archaeological Museum extends far beyond its beautiful facade. It's a custodian of cultural heritage, providing an invaluable insight into ancient civilizations. The museum's collections are some of the most significant relics of the Roman Empire, including those salvaged from Pompeii and Herculaneum after the catastrophic volcanic eruption. These artifacts act as a bridge between the present and a distant past that laid the foundations for contemporary society.

The museum also plays a critical role in the study of classical archaeology and art. Its contents are indispensable to scholars worldwide, offering an extensive library of materials and objects that provide a greater understanding of ancient technologies, artistry, and everyday life. For the casual visitor, the museum serves as an eye-opening experience that educates and inspires, illustrating the vast influence of ancient cultures on modern civilization.

Things to Do & See at Naples National Archaeological Museum

Once inside the grand walls of the Naples National Archaeological Museum, visitors can embark on a chronological journey through history. Begin with the Farnese Collection, which boasts impressive sculptures like the Farnese Bull and Hercules. Then, discover the staggering Gabinetto Segreto, a once restricted gallery home to erotic art from Pompeii and Herculaneum, capturing the unfiltered aspects of Roman life.

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Explore corridors lined with detailed mosaics, such as the famed Alexander Mosaic depicting Alexander the Great in battle, and then marvel at the vast collection of frescoes that once adorned the walls of ancient villas.

For coin enthusiasts, the museum's numismatic collection is among the largest in Italy, mapping a rich economic history through thousands of ancient coins. And, not to be missed is the Egyptian collection, which transports visitors to the banks of the Nile within an Italian context, a testament to the range of the museum's holdings. As you meander through, take the time to absorb the encompassing grandeur—it's not just about the individual pieces but the collective narrative they construct together.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Naples National Archaeological Museum?

The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Italy, particularly for ancient Roman history. It houses a vast collection of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance artifacts, including mosaics, sculptures, gems, and objects from Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum.


What are the must-see exhibits at the Naples National Archaeological Museum?

Must-see exhibits at the Naples National Archaeological Museum include the Farnese Collection of sculptures, the mosaics from the House of the Faun in Pompeii, the Secret Cabinet (Gabinetto Segreto) with its collection of Roman erotica, and the Egyptian Collection.


How much time should I allot for a visit to the Naples National Archaeological Museum?

It is recommended to allot at least 2 to 3 hours for a visit to the museum to fully appreciate its extensive collections and exhibits. However, art and history enthusiasts may choose to spend more time exploring in greater detail.


Are there guided tours available at the Naples National Archaeological Museum?

Yes, the museum offers guided tours in various languages. Visitors can check the official website or inquire at the museum for tour schedules and languages. Audio guides are also available for those who prefer a self-guided experience.


Can I purchase tickets to the Naples National Archaeological Museum online?

Tickets to the Naples National Archaeological Museum can typically be purchased both online and at the museum. It is advisable to check the official museum website for the most up-to-date information on tickets and to book in advance, particularly during peak tourist seasons.


Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza Museo, 18/19, 80135 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 2

Find it on google maps