Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Museo Archeologico Nazionale © Jeff Matthews
This fascinating, world-class museum houses the Farnese collection of antiquities from Lazio and Campania and the incredible treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Notable among these collections are the Farnese Hercules and the Farnese Bull, the largest known ancient sculpture. On the mezzanine level is the Alexander Mosaic and at the furthest end of the mezzanine floor is the Secret Room (Gabinetto Segreto). The intriguing collection contained here showcases erotic material found in the brothels, baths, houses and taverns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The top section of the museum houses the Campanian wall paintings, well-preserved creations attesting to a mysterious past world. These are supported by a range of artefacts, in the form of glass, silver, ceramics, rope and even foodstuffs surviving from the Campanian cities of yesteryear. The remarkable collection is housed in a 17th-century building interesting in itself. Visitors should check ahead whether all the exhibits in the museum will be open to avoid disappointment as the most popular exhibits are subject to close at any time for restoration and maintenance work. Although a popular attraction in its own right, the museum is also a worthwhile stop if you plan to visit Pompeii as so many of its treasures are stored here.
Address: Piazza Museo Nazionale 18-19