Archaeological Museum

Corso Magenta, 15. (Open Map)


The Archaeological Museum is housed in a unique architectural environment, the former convent of the Monastero Maggiore of San Maurizio founded in the eighth century AD, where traces of the history of ancient Milan can still be seen. In the imperial period the area was occupied by a residential building from the first century AD together with the Roman walls and the great circus next to the Imperial Palace.
The collections are displayed in different rooms depending on the culture of origin. On the ground floor, after the first cloister (a Milanese architectural decoration) is the Ancient Milan section, while downstairs the route continues to Living in Mediolanum. Also downstairs are the Caesarea Maritima (Israel) and Gandhara sections.
The viewing route continues in the back cloister ("Milanese society through inscriptions"). At the end of the second cloister a path leads to the polygonal tower (late third century) with early medieval frescoes (thirteenth century) and comes out in the new museum in Via Nirone where the early medieval section is on the first floor.
On the second floor is the Etruscan section; the items are an important heritage, valuable in the reconstruction of many aspects of Etruscan civilisation.
The third and last floor is the Greek section. The exhibition is dedicated to Greek society and everyday life marked by economic activities, from theatre and religion to reflections on life and death.
The Egyptian collections of Prehistory and Early History are on display in the Sale Visconti of the Castello Sforzesco.
Found in the province Novara, the superb Trivulzio diatreta cup (the title refers to the noble Milanese family and the collection that it was part of for a long time) is one of the best known examples of vasa diatreta blown into a mould and then etched on the surface so as to obtain an open-work decoration. It is considered one of the most exciting archaeological finds of the late Roman Empire (III-IV century AD).