Volterra and Tuscany: Etruscans home
Mysterious and beloved people
Visit one of the worldwide most important collections in Volterra
The suggestive actuality of the elongated form of the Ombra della Sera (Shadow of the evening), or the disturbing expression on the faces of the ageing couple figured on the Urna degli sposi (Urn of the married couple) are reason enough to visit the Guarnacci museum, one of the earliest public museums in Europe.
The Etruscans: Discover these people at the museum
Discover the lifestyle, beliefs, ideas and objects of the ancient inhabitants of Volterra
The beautiful palace where the Etruscan and Roman collections from Volterra are displayed along with the period design of the interior of the museum and the criteria used for the presentation of the collection, make an historical statement of a certain way of making culture.
Visitors to the museum today might have the impression of an institution with a double personality. In the oldest part of the museum the collection is exhibited in period furniture with objects often grouped together for the sole reason they are made of the same material. In the contemporary part of the museum a more modern conception is used to display a selection of the most significant works along with explanatory panels.
The museum was founded in the mid-18th century in what was an epoch of intense research into Italian antiquity during which Volterra was an important cultural capital.
It is also one of the oldest and most important Etruscan museum in Italy. It preserves most of the materials coming from excavations and research in Volterra and its territory.
The main core of the museum consists of about 600 Etruscan funerary urns, destined to collect the ashes of the dead
The production widespread in Volterra between the IV and the 1st century B.C. using various materials: terracotta (pottery), stone, alabaster. The most significant urns are in alabaster, an easy material to shape and which is also suitable to be painted. Among the most famous finds is the “Evening shadow”, an Etruscan bronze with the characteristic elongated shape; the “Stele of Avile Tite” and the “Urn of the spouses”.