Off the beaten track: Museo di etruscologia e antichità italiache

Some of the most interesting and unique museums in Rome are the ones that you do not often read about in guidebooks, and in this post I would like to talk about one of those museums: Museo di Etruscologia e Antichità Italiche (Museum of Etruscology and Italic Antiquity) which is part of “La Sapienza”, one of Rome’s most prestigious universities.

The museum was founded by the Italian scholar and archeologist, Massimo Pallottino, who specialized in Etruscan art and civilization. Professor Pallottino, who passed away in 1995, was one of the foremost scholars in Etruscan studies, and anyone who has ever taken a course on Ancient Italian history, art, or archaeology has probably read something by him. Many of his works have been translated into English, and anyone wishing to learn more about Etruscans and their civilizations should most definitely start with his works. The two listed below are some of his most influential that have been translated into English:
  1. Pallottino, Massimo. A History of Earliest Italy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991.

  2. Pallottino, Massimo. The Etruscans. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975
The museum has some interesting finds (a bronze statue among one of its most important) as well as everyday objects used by Etruscans along with pottery and painting that demonstrates the artistic and cultural endeavors of the Etruscans. While this museum is smaller and not as “grand” as some of the many others, sometimes I think that it can be just as interesting and educational to see the finds held by a smaller museum, especially since a museum such as this is not likely to be overly crowded.
If you’re in Rome on the 15th of May, this museum will be open from 8:00 PM to midnight as part of the “Night of the Museums” which a special exhibition on the museum’s founder.
If you wish visit the museum during the week, you should consult the museum’s web page and email/call to arrange a visit. The museum is open from 9:30am to 1:00pm Monday through Friday by appointment.