The National Archaeological Museum of Spoleto (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Spoleto) is housed in a former Benedictine convent and incorporates an ancient Roman theater. It displays a variety of interesting Roman artifacts, including a famous inscription warning against damaging a sacred forest.
The museum opened in 1985 within the complex of the former Benedictine church and convent of St. Agata. It includes access to Spoleto's 1st-century Roman theater, which has been restored and is used for performances throughout the summer. It retains many of the original benches as well as an intact passageway under the cavea behind the seats.
Inside, the collection includes a number of artifacts recovered from the theater area, including the torso from a statue of a young boy and 1st-century busts of Julius and Augustus Caesar. Also on display are items from a 7th-century BC warrior's tomb.
Also notable are the Lex Spoletina (Spoleto Law) tablets dating from 315 BC. The two tablets were set up as markers to protect the Bosco Sacro (Sacred Forest), which is south of town on Monteluco behind the city. They warn:
This protected pagan site was later frequented by the nature-loving St. Francis of Assisi. To visit the woods yourself, you can take the hourly #9 bus from Piazza Liberta or go on foot - it's a long peaceful walk accompanied by fine views.
Quick Facts on Museo Archeologico
|Museo Archeologico · Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Spoleto · National Archaeological Museum of Spoleto
|Visitor and Contact Information
|42.733475° N, 12.735021° E
|Piazza della Libertà
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- Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Spoleto - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Umbria
- Frommer's Florence, Tuscany & Umbria, 4th edition
- Fodor's Florence, Tuscany & Umbria, 7th edition
- The Rough Guide to Italy 7 (May 2005), 650.
- Photos of Museo Archeologico - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Museo Archeologico, Spoleto
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