National Archaeological Museum of Gaio Cilnio Mecenate. A museum dedicated to the treasures of the Etruscan and Roman eras in Arezzo.
The National Archaeological Museum of Gaio Cilnio Mecenate houses a vast collection of objects from the Etruscan and Roman eras in Arezzo. This museum is connected to the Roman Amphitheater of Arezzo and together these places recount the history and the ancient origins of the city. It is one of most important archaeological museums in Tuscany, second only to the museum in Florence.
Your visit to the museum takes you through 26 galleries on two floors. The ground floor is dedicated to the history of Arezzo from its beginnings in the Etruscan times to the late antiquity. The upper floor houses special exhibits that focus on paleontology, prehistory and the early Middle Ages and has thematic areas where ceramics and bronzes are displayed.
The National Archaeological Museum is a must-see because of its collection of beautiful Etruscan jewels which were found in the town necropolis called Poggio del Sole. The museum also has a gigantic decorative piece that depicts battle scenes. This piece was found in the area that is now Piazza San Jacopo or Saint Jacob Square and was part of the portal pediment of a palace. Another important section of the museum’s collection is dedicated to the objects found at the sanctuary of Castelsecco. These objects include decorative plates, a stone altar and votive statuettes of babies wrapped in swaddling clothes.
The museum’s most internationally renown items include the collection of earthen vessels, known as the “coral vessels.” These vessels were produced in Arezzo between the first half of the 1st century BC until midway through the 1st century AD. The exclusive production of the vessels in Arezzo made the town famous throughout all of antiquity. One of the rarest of these vessels is the Crater of Euphronios, dating back to 500 BC. It depicts the struggle between the Greeks and the Amazons and on the shield of the warriors is the symbol of the Chimera, which would later become the symbol of the town of Arezzo.