boasts a long list of worth-visiting museums and galleries.
Regional Archaeological Museum in Syracuse, founded in 1878, is
dedicated to the archaeologist Paolo Orsi, from Rovereto, who pioneered
in the excavation and research of
sites and run the museum for over thirty years. The display is arranged
on two floors. The A Section, devoted to Pre- and Proto-History,
displays relics from the Stentinello site, going back to the Neolithic
and the Bronze ages. The B section gathers relics dating from the
Greek age, notably from doric colonies of Megara Hyblaea and Syracuse,
and others from Gela and Agrigento.
Archaeological Museum in Giardini Naxos – Messina province
– exhibits items from different epochs: Neolithic, Bronze,
Iron, Greek, Byzantine. There stands an incredible collection of
amphoras, vases, helmets, coins, attesting to the importance of
this city in the past.
Archaeological Museum in Enna, housed inside the Palazzo Varisano,
collects, in five display rooms, finds from several excavations:
the first and the second are devoted to finds from excavations in
the Enna area; the third illustrates the history of the Pergusa
Lake area; the fourth is about the 7th-6th century BC Greek settlement
of Rossomanno; the fifth contains funeral outfits.
Regional Archaeological Museum in Aidone, Enna, housed in a former
Capuchins convent, collects specimens of prehistoric ceramics, of
Greek coins and terracotta works and other objects dating from the
Roman Republic. The material, entirely coming from the archaeologic
site of Morgantina, is displayed in several rooms.
Badia Archaeological Museum in Licata, Agrigento, is situated inside
the Cistercian monastery of S. Maria del Soccorso. A noted collection
of archaeologic items provides evidence of human settlements in
this area since the Paleolithic.
Regional Archaeological Museum in Caltanissetta displays finds from
excavations conducted at this area that revealed the presence of
Dessueri, a city dating from the Bronze age. The collection, ranging
from the prehistory to Roman and Byzantine ages, is arranged both
chronologically and topographically into five big rooms with plenty
of explanatory material.
Regional Archaeological Museum of Agrigento, located just off the
city, consists of a complex of buildings attached to the restored
convent of S. Nicola. The history of the most notorious archaeological
site in Sicily is traced through thousands of archaeological finds,
unearthed during excavations at the area at the beginning of the
20th century. The 470 BC Telamon, reconstructed in the room dedicated
to the temple of Zeus Olympion, is the museum’s most attractive
item. Displayed in further 18 rooms are an endless number of vases,
amphoras, objects, tools, statues, sculptures and many other incredible
items ranging in date from the 20th century BC to the 6th century
Diocesan Archaeological Museum, in Agrigento, is located in the
vicinity of the city Cathedral. The Museum conserves many ancient
relics, frescoes from the Cathedral, the precious Phoedra’s
sarcophagus dating from around the 2nd century AD, and various pieces
of jewelry. An authorization by the diocese is required to visit
The Regional Archaeological Museum in Palermo is housed in several
buildings. The display in Piazza Olivella consists of two floors
divided into several rooms, one of which dedicated to temporary
exhibitions. It collects relics testifying to Sicilian history from
the prehistory up to the 18th and 19th century.
Sicilian Regional Gallery in Palermo, housed inside the Palazzo
Abatellis, gathers a collection of paintings and sculptures ranging
from the 12th to the 18th century. Outstanding are a 15th century
fresco dedicated to the Triumph of Death, guarded in the Chapel
of the palace, a 16th century Malvagna Tryptych depicting the Virgin
on a Throne with the Child, a painting by Gossaert known as Mabuse
and another, more recent, by Pietro Novelli dating from the first
half of the 17th century.
G. Pitrè Museum of Ethnography, named after the well-known
Palermo ethnologist who founded it in the early 1900s, displays,
in 29 rooms, a vast collection of artefacts, tools, objects, ceramic
and terracotta works, holy wooden statues, puppets and typical carts.
Municipal Museum in Termini Imerese consists of several sections
arranged by subject about Palermo’s Prehistory, Archaeology,
Numismatics, Epigraphy. Worth-mentioning are a 15th century low-relief
depicting the Holy Family, various paintings and Greek inscriptions.
Municipal Museum in Terrasini – Palermo province – displays
in three sections respectively devoted to Natural History, Archaeology
Regional Museum of Messina, opened in the early-20th century, holds
numerous works of art: sculptures, decorations, holy representations
recovered from ruins of churches in the area after the 1908’s
earthquake. The garden and the terrace guard statues and other imposing
relics from churches and palazzi. A polyptych by Antonello da Messina
dated 1473 and a 13th century Madonna and Child by unknown are among
the museum’s major pieces.
Tapestry Museum in Marsala preserves eight precious 16th century
Flemish tapestries depicting scenes from the Roman-Jewish war (1st
century AD) attributed to the Spanish-Flemish painter Pedro Campana.
Baglio Anselmi Museum, housed inside the Baglio Anselmi, in Marsala,
a former wine factory built in the 19th century, displays a remarkable
Punic ship and illustrates the history of Lilybaeum, a small town
founded around 307 BC by refugees of the close Motya Island that
had been destroyed by the Syracusan Tyrant Dionysius. During the
Punic war the city was an outpost of Carthage meant to protect against
Roman attacks, who ultimately took it. Panels in the second room
illustrate the geographical features of the site, the history of
Lilybaeum and its urban structure. Room 3 shows prehistoric material
from the areas of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo, from Motya and Lilybaeum.
The smaller Room 4 exhibits seven Latin inscriptions that helped
shed light on daily life in Lilybaeum.
Archaeological Museum in Gela, Caltanissetta, illustrates the history
of the ancient city and its surroundings. The display collects relics
ranging in date from the prehistory to the Middle Ages, arranged
in seven chronological sections with explanatory material. Section
1 includes the prehistory, the acropolises, the Emporium, the Boat.
Section 2 displays relics of the town between the 4th and the 3rd
century BC and from the Santuario di Hera standing where now is
the Town Hall. Section 3 is about the kilns and the epigraphy. Section
4 displays amphoras unearthed in Gela. Three sections are devoted
to relics from the ancient town and from sanctuaries of Demetra
and Kore. A final section displays objects dating from the Prehistoric,
Greek and Roman ages.
Hyblaean Archaeological Museum in Ragusa was founded in the second
half of the 20th century. Displayed in chronological and topographical
order are items illustrating the archaeology and history of Ragusa
area from the Neolithic Age, and places faithfully reconstructed,
such as the necropolis, that help visitors better understand the
significance of the collection. The A section, about the Prehistory,
gathers relics from excavations in Marina di Ragusa’s and
Modica’s countryside, ceramics and tools in lavastone unearthed
in Cava d’Ispica and Vittoria. The B section is about finds
unearthed in the Greek site of Camarina, also including some archaic
tombs. The C one is about ancient Sicels’ settlements of Monte
Casasia, Licodia Eubea, Castiglione and Ibla.
D section is about Hellenistic settlements of Scornavacche with
photos and topographic maps of this ancient site in the proximity
of Chiaramonte Gulfi. The E section is about the late Roman settlement
of Kaukana and also displays mosaics of the little church of S.
final F Section includes collections and acquisitions.
Vagliasindi Archaeological Museum in Randazzo, Catania, houses the
archaeological collection of Paolo Vagliasindi (second half of the
19th century) consisting of precious coins, pieces and ceramic works
ranging from the 6th to the 3rd century BC.
Municipal Museum of Caltanissetta has two sections dedicated to
modern art and archaeology. The latter, probably richer, gathers
material displayed in topographical and chronological order, consisting
of prehistoric and greek relics found at several sites of the area
such as Sabucina and Capodarso, vases and tools dating from the
Archaeological Museum in Marianopoli, Caltanissetta, displays, on
two floors, in chronological and topographical order, finds ranging
in date from the Prehistory to the Greek age mostly coming from
the archaeological sites of Monte Castellazzo and Balate-Valle Oscura.
Agostino Pepoli Regional Museum in Trapani is housed in a former
Carmelite convent dating from the 14th century. Its collection gathers
remarkable sculptures and paintings, archaeologic relics and figurative
art works. It includes the private collection of Agostino Pepoli,
who supported the founding of the museum in the early 20th century,
and other material consisting of acquisitions or donations. In two
floors is illustrated the development of decorative arts in the
area of Trapani between the 13th and the 19th century. Worth-mentioning
are some precious works such as the reliquary of a Saint, a wooden
sculpture by German unknown, a painting on wood depicting the Enthroned
Madonna with Angels by Master of the Trapani Polyptych, a early
1500’s marble statue of St. Jacob the Elder by Antonello Gagini,
a painting representing The Martyrdom of St. Matthew from the 17th
Municipal Museum in Castelvetrano – Trapani – gathers
the collections once housed in the former monastery of St. Domenic,
including pieces found at Selinunte, dating from the 6th to the
4th century BC, paintings and sculptures from desecrated churches
of the city, statues, coins, ceramic, terracotta works and many
Ethnographic Museum in Modica, dedicated to Serafino Amabile Guastella,
focuses on the rural activities in the area. On display are traditional
carts, objects and tools produced or used by Modican craftmen. Housed
in the first floor of the former convent of Mercedari Fathers, it
also displays several old shops faithfully recreated, such as the
honey-maker’s, the blacksmith’s and an impressing typical
Masseria (Sicilian for Farmhouse).
Municipal Museum in Noto collects outstanding pieces found at Noto
Antica and its surroundings.
Ursino Castle Municipal Museum in Catania, recently restored, displays
in 28 rooms (on 2 floors) the collections of the Benedictine Friars,
the Princes of Biscari, and those donated by the Baron Zappalà
Asmundo, comprising architectural and decorative relics found in
the Roman Theatre, in Catania, and many other precious items. The
picture-gallery displays works by such illustrious artists as Ribera,
Procaccini, Borremans, Luca Giordano, the Beato Angelico, Bernardino
Niger and Pietro Novelli.
Vincenzo Bellini Municipal Museum, inside the artist’s birthhome,
illustrates the life and production of the world-known Catanian
composer. The first room displays printings of Catania in the 19th
century; in the second are items belonged to the artist. Among them
is an harpsichord believed to be built by Bellini himself. The third
displays pictures of events of his life; another room, maybe the
most outstanding, gathers numerous manuscripts autographed by the
artist; the last room contains photographs and objects related to
the artist’s corpse transfer from Paris to Catania.
The Museo di San Nicolò, in Militello Val di Catania, housed
in the basement of the church of St. Nicholas, was opened in 1981.
It collects works and relics recovered from the city ruins after
the 1693’s earthquake, numerous works of art and documents
attesting to the historical and artistic importance of the town.
Among them, worth-mentioning are the remains of a 18th century apse
and a full set of ceremonial vestments with figured polychrome embroideries,
dating from the 18th century.
Museo di Paleontologia in Catania gathers a noteworthy collection
of fossils and historical finds coming from sites across Sicily.
Municipal Museum of Acicastello, housed inside the Norman Castle,
collects numerous items displayed in several sections about mineralogy
Zelantea Library and Picture Gallery of Acireale, Catania, is among
the best equipped in all Sicily, with a section devoted to Archaeology
and a Museum of the Italian Risorgimento.
Archaeological Museum in Adrano, housed inside the 11th century
Norman Castle, is largely devoted to Archaeology, with display of
stone and bone objects, ceramic and metal items dating back to the
Neolithic and Copper Ages. It also includes a picture-gallery showing
pictures dating from the 1500s through the early 1900s.
Museum of the Capuchins, in Caltagirone, housing a picture gallery
with plenty of sacred works, collects works by noted authors such
as Fra Semplice from Verona and Filippo Paladino.
city has paid homage to its worldwide famous ceramics by founding
the Regional Museum of Ceramics. Its four rooms, inside the Town
Villa, display ceramics arranged chronologically from the Prehistory
to the early 1900s, produced in Caltagirone and in the rest of Sicily.
The prehistoric section includes ceramic finds from excavations
at Caltagirone, S. Ippolito and Dessueri, and in the Ragusa area.
The section about the Middle Ages show admirable pieces from Syracuse
dating back to the 10th-11th centuries, and from Palermo and Agrigento,
dating back to the 12th-13th century. The modern section gathers
works ranging from the 16th to the 19th century from Caltagirone,
Sciacca, Burgio, Palermo and Trapani.
also boasts two Municipal Museums: the Contemporary Art’s
and the Luigi Sturzo’s collecting important paintings, ceramics,
potteries, drawings and other items.
Archaeological Museum in Grammichele, housed inside the Municipal
Palace, gathers Greek relics recovered from excavations conducted
at the town throughout the years. In the first room are panels illustrating
the city history. The second is devoted to pre and proto-historic
material unearthed in the town’s countryside. The last section
displays funeral relics from the necropolises of Terravecchia and
Permanent Exhibition in Mirabella Imbaccari offers interesting works
by local craftswomen; most outstanding are notably the tombolo embroideries.
Archaeological Museum of Ramacca, Catania, displays relics ranging
in date from the Metal to the Greek-Roman Age. Worth-mentioning
are remains of the so-called RM house, abandoned in the 6th century
BC, notably the funeral vestments from the East necropolis.
Archaeological Museum in Lentini displays relics recovered from
excavations in the ancient villages of Leontini and Metapiccola,
and funeral outfits ranging in date from the 4th to the 2nd century
Archaeological Park is home to remains of Greek necropolises, walls
Museum of Tindari illustrates the history of this famed site in
the province of Messina. Although smaller, this boasts as much precious
items as any other museum listed here. Outstanding are a sculpted
Emperor Augustus’ head, recovered from excavations at the
Basilica, and relics attesting to a settlement dating back to the
Bronze Age. Also noteworthy are the documents about the excavations
and restorations here conducted.
Aeolian Regional Archaeological Museum in Lipari, holds various
collections that illustrate the history of the archipelago from
the Prehistory to the Middle Ages. It is arranged in six buildings
located in the Castle area, each one dedicated to different historical
ages and to specifical subjects, among which are volcanology and
marine archaeology. The latter contains relics from ancient shipwrecks
found off the islands, including 4th century amphoras in Greek-Italic
material is also available.
Archaeologic Park in Lipari traces the history of the Island through
the excavations there conducted. It offers remains of walls from
the Greek period, of Roman houses and remains of necropolises.
Archaeological Museum on Mozia, a well-known island off Trapani
coast, allows visitors to admire specimens of Phoenician funerary
vestments recovered from the necropolis, masks and other interesting
Museum of Cesarò, Messina province, displaying farm tools,
objects and photographs of old times, allows visitors a journey
through old activities and experience Sicily’s rural life
in the 19th century.
the Cava d’Ispica, a noted archeological site in the vicinity
of Modica – Ragusa province – the Water Mill-Museum
Cavallo d’Ispica was recently re-opened to public after restoration.
This displaying working tools, objects and furniture of the past
times, allows visitors to experience a unique atmosphere.
Palazzolo Acreide, Syracuse, there is the House-Museum of poet and
anthropologist Antonino Uccello. Presently run by the Regione Sicilia,
it collects traditional objects, tools and costumes. Also noteworthy
is the re-created part of a farmhouse.