Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi

Syracuse, Italy

The Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi is one of the principal archaeological museums of Europe.

In 1780 the Bishop Alagona inaugurated the Museo del Seminario which became the Museo Civico near the archbishop's house in 1808. Subsequently, a royal decree of 1878 sanctioned the creation of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Siracusa, which was only inaugurated in 1886, in its historic location on the cathedral square.

From 1895 to 1934 Paolo Orsi directed the museum, but the increasing number of finds made a new space necessary at the current location in the garden of the villa Landolina. The new museum space, designed by the architect Franco Minissi was inaugurated in January 1988, with two floors of 9,0002. Initially only one floor and a basement of 3,000 m2 containing an auditorium were open to the public.

In 2006, a new exhibition area on the upper floor was inaugurated, dedicated to the classical period, but more space still remained unused. In 2014 a final expansion allowed the display of the Sarcophagus of Adelphia and other finds from the catacombs of Syracuse.

The museum contains artefacts from the prehistoric, Greek and Roman periods found in archaeological excavations in the city and other sites in Sicily.

Located next to the ancient Villa Landolina, outside the Museum, it is possible to visit the park opposite with finds from the Greek and Roman periods, as well as a non-Catholic cemetery with the tomb of the poet August von Platen.

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Details

Founded: 1886
Category: Museums in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christina Pelteki (8 days ago)
Beautiful space and thorough. Some areas were not very well maintained. The lady at the coin selection floor was very helpful and welcoming. The reception barely spoke English so it was quite difficult to communicate. It is a very extensive selection. Worth a visit.
MrCocolino09 (19 days ago)
Beautiful place to walk around and see some of city’s history. It’s really hot out there but caves offer some shadow and cool air.  Very nice, disorganized, lack of orientation. The park has two areas and be aware on the closing of a large part of the Greek side, including the Archimedes tomb. One staffer there recommended to start with the Greek side and leave the Roman one for the end. And he was right. Start with the Greek theater, don’t go up if you have seen caves and admire the amphitheater. Continue with the lower part, with The Ear Of Dionysos, impressive and then exit and go to what remained from the Roman theater, less glamorous.
R Groot (28 days ago)
The museum has loads on display but it just wasn't for us. We found the experience very boring. If you like to see loads and then I man loads of old pots definitely go. I do understand that is maybe what has been found in the area bit that made it for is just same same on display. Also too bad that the surrounding garden wasn't well kept.
Benjamin Márkus (2 months ago)
Unbelievably rich and stratified collection from archeological sites all around south-east Sicily. If you have the strength and determination to stroll through it you'll be awarded with an overview of the ancient history of this part of the island as told through objects. But be aware that the collection is huge, if you try to read everything and look at each exhibit you simply won't have neither the time nor the capacity to take in the whole thing from beginning (Bronze Age) to the end (Late Roman Era).
Annabel Mallia (3 months ago)
Huge collection well displayed in a contemporary space. Clear labelling in English and Italian. Also a nice garden to stroll in.
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