Known as “MarTA,” the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto, boasts one of Italy's most important archeological collections. Housing the museum is the former Convent of San Pasquale di Babylon, near the Public Garden on Piazza Garibaldi.
The rooms on the mezzanine floor are dedicated to archaeology, with over two hundred thousand artefacts, dating from Prehistoric times to the Middle Ages - the visitors' route follows the collection's chronological order, starting from the 5th millennium B.C. The first meeting between the indigenous Iapygian population and the Aegean world predates Sparta’s colonization of the Gulf of Taranto, and visitors can admire everyday objects relating to worship and funerary rituals in Greek Taranto.
The changes brought about by the arrival of the Romans reveal themselves in a series of sculptures and terracotta figurines, as well as utensils and gold objects of every type. Don’t miss the incredible Ori di Taranto (Golden Treasure of Taranto), a stunning collection of Hellenic-era gold artwork, with many grave goods.
Taranto’s public collection of archaeological artefacts dates back to the late 1800s when a deposit of antiquities was established. The museum was founded in 1887, and is today housed in the former Convent of San Pasquale di Babylon, which was itself built shortly after 1750. The collections are continuously growing thanks to excavations periodically undertaken in the area.
The 18th-century Convent of San Pasquale di Babylon has been expanded and reorganized several times since 1903, when the façade was reconstructed according to a design by Guglielmo Calderini. The north wing, which was designed by Carlo Ceschi, was constructed between 1935 and 1941. The building underwent a radical overhaul in January 2000 and was reopened to the public on December 20, 2007.
The rooms dedicated to Greek Taranto display a large exposition of artefacts such as grave goods and jewellery. In the rooms dedicated to the Roman age, statues and Imperial-era mosaic floors testify to the city’s splendour, while objects and jewellery from the Basile “domus” (house) represent Taranto between Late Antiquity and the Byzantine era.
The celebrated Gold of Taranto includes signet rings, bracelets, crowns in gold and precious jewels, earrings shaped like boats and lion’s heads, a nutcracker, and other precious items.
Be sure to check out the villas' mosaic floors, the marble and bronze statues, the pottery, and various examples of grave goods.
The museum’s Pinacoteca (art gallery) features important paintings from the Neapolitan school.
Via Cavour 10 74100 Taranto +390994538639 Write us Ask for Nova Apulia
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