Sassoferrato - Marche Region - Italy
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iat.sassoferrato@happennines.it

Civic Archaeological Museum

Sassoferrato, a timeless journey in history

Sassoferrato’s Civic Archaeological museum is located inside the Palazzo dei Priori , that was built in 1355 after  the  birth of the independent municipality.

Planned already in 1926, the Museum was completed only  in 1932 thanks  to the help of professor Guido Vitaletti (1886-1936). With great dedication and generosity, for the first time he gathered in an adequate  building the findings of the ancient city of Sentinum , whose impressive remains can be seen at the entrance of the city, and he gifted to the citizenry the ones of his private collection.

Originally the collection was placed in two rooms  that housed other paving mosaics discovered in the same years, one of which portrayed the ‘Abduction of Europa’ , that can still be seen inside the Museum.

In 1979, thanks to a grant from the Marche region and from Comunità Montana of Alta Vallesina, there were a first restoration of the museum and an enlargement of four rooms .

In 1997, after the earthquake, the Museum was closed. In March 2006 the Museum reopened with with new findings and  a new museographic prehistoric section.

The Museum is accessible from the Matteotti square.

The ground floor houses the scale model of the ‘Battle of the Nations’ (295 BC) fought at the end of the third Samnite war.

A wide staircase, made of the original Palazzo dei Priori’s stone steps, leads to the remains’ thematic exhibition on the first floor.  The walls exhibit some emblems owned by the authority of the old municipality and one of Pope Paul the 5th  as a keepsake of a visit that he made.

The main rooms of the Museum are characterised by mosaic floors and the set-up reproduces the original dimensions of the room’s walls.

The remains show different aspects of the everyday life and the society of the ancient roman town of Sentinum.

From the entrance, you reach the sculpture’s rooms where marble’s sculptures of heads and backs are exhibited. In the same room there are large marble epigraphs  and a copy of three bronze slabs where there is an official written document that was used by the merchant’s association of Sentinum and Ostra to confer the  title of ‘patronus’,  or protector, to town’s  illustrious figures .

From here you can access the room dedicated to the remains of this area from the prehistoric era.

In the next room the exhibition hosts the paving mosaic of the ‘Abduction of Europa’, and numerous funeral epigraphs, including typical steles of feminine burial representing the underworld’s door.

In the hallway, a showcase displays the remains of a bronze maker workshop. One of the discovered remains can be attributed to the famous Cartoceto of Pergola gilded bronze‘s sculpted groups.

Inside the Aiòn‘s room, the floor ’is a full-size copy of the mosaic found in one of the 19th century domus of the city, now  preserved in the glyptotheque in Munich.

In the showcases, commonly used items are displayed showing different aspects of the daily life: meals, religion, arts and crafts, and women’s activities.

In the last room, a large paving mosaic with sea monsters is exhibited, previously preserved at the National Archaeological museum of Ancona.

Some pieces of architectural decoration, placed around the mosaic,  are proofs of the town’s last stages of life.

Two showcases contain the pottery used in the kitchen during the Roman period. The central one contains some of the most beautiful coins discovered in Sentinum, which can be dated between the end of the 3rd  century BC and the end of the 4th  century AD. The last two showcases contain the 16th century ceramics discovered in the latest working done in the building that houses the Museum. Some of them contain the ancient emblem of Sassoferrato.

Contact the Tourist Office to visit the Museum

OPENING HOURS: daily

November - March 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. / 2.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

April-October 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. / 3.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

The entrance ticket to the Civic Archaeological Museum also includes the Perottiana Collection.