Welcome is Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico

From September 25, 2017

Via dell'Archiginnasio, 2 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 2757211

Fax +39 051 266516

Reference maps: D-4

Date of last update: 02/09/2019, 17:52

Part of the Civical Archaeological Museum's first floor is closed because of important structural works since September 2017. 
From October 2019 the rooms dedicated to the Greek, Roman, Etrusco-Italic and the plaster cast gallery collection will open again
From December 2019 the rooms dedicated to the territory archaelogical discoveries (Etruscan Bologna section - sepulchres, Gallic and Roman) will open again.

The Archaeological City Museum is part of Bologna Welcome Card network. Free entry for the Card holders.


The Civic Archaeological Museum, one of the city's most prestigious institutions, is located in the 15th century Palazzo Galvani, located in the city centre, just a few steps from Piazza Maggiore.  Open to the public since 1881, it hosts the ancient University Museum's rich archaeological collections thanks to the donation of painter Pelagio Palagi and from the excavations conducted in Bologna and the region between the late 19th and early 20th century.  It is one of the most important Italian collections and is highly representative of local history, from prehistoric to Roman times.  Its Egyptian collection is the third largest in Italy.

The Exhibition

Among the historical collections of the Museum, the Egyptian collection stands out as being the most important one in Europe, which preserves the precious reliefs from the tomb of Horemheb to Saqqara.  Also noteworthy are the Etruscan-Italic collection, the Roman collection and the Greek collection: the latter preserves the marble head of the Athena Lemnia, a copy of the Augustan age of the bronze statue of Fidia, which stood at the entrance to the Acropolis of Athens in the 5th century BC.

In the context of the rich archaeological documentation of Bologna, which illustrates the most ancient history of the city and the surrounding area, from the Palaeolithic to the Roman age, the materials of the Etruscan civilization constitute the most important nucleus of the Museum and serve to document the development of Felsina (the Etruscan name of Bologna) from the 9th century BC until the beginning of the 4th century B.C.  The life of the Roman city of Bononia, a Roman colony founded in 189 BC, is also extensively documented on the site of the Etruscan Felsina.  The decoration of the Roman theatre, brought to light in the current city centre, must be attributed to the beautiful headless statue of Emperor Nero.

The Museum is completed by a newly refurbished Gipsoteca, the Gallic section and one of the most important numismatic collections in Italy, with over 100,000 specimens (accessible only to scholars by appointment).

The Building

The origins of Palazzo Galvani date back to 1336, when the construction works of the Hospital and of the Church of Santa Maria della Morte had been started by the Brotherhood of the same name.  The hospital was divided into separate sections for men, women and the injured, with the addition of offices, a pharmacy and an icebox.

The Church was consecrated in 1427 and the entire building underwent successive expansions and transformations, among which we must mention the intervention of Antonio Morandi, called Terribilia, who, around the middle of the 16th century, supervised the construction of the grandiose Portico della Morte (arcade of death) that still today connects Palazzo Galvani to the Archiginnasio.  The entire complex underwent further renovations until when (between 1798 and 1801) the Confraternita della Morte (Brotherhood of Death) was suppressed; the church and the hospital were closed.  Designed by architect Coriolano Monti, in the first half of the 19th century, the internal structure of the building was heavily modified with the creation of the grand staircase leading to the upper floor overlooking the courtyard; an ornate fountain placed in the middle, surmounted by a bronze cherub, sculpted by Stefano Galletti.

End section of an andiron

End section of an andiron

The end section of the andiron has been preserved. It depicts a pair of horse heads stylised and stamp-decorated, held together
by a small yoke at the top.
The role of terracotta or metal andirons - fireplace accessories - was to support wood, skewers for meat or pots used for
cooking food.

Room IA (Etruscan Bologna)
Bologna, inhabited, Via dell'Indipendenza, 24
650-580 B.C. circa.

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it

by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL.  Ring road exits  n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

reduction € 3.00:

  • visitors over 65
  • groups of min. 10 people, Comune di Bologna Family Card and YoungERcard holders
  • special agreements

reduction € 2.00: visitors from 18 to 25

Free admission:

  • the last 2 hours of opening times on every Thursday from April to September
  • the first Sunday of the month from October to March
  • young people up to 18
  • university students with membership card
  • classes of secondary schools
  • 2 leaders for each school group
  • 1 leader for each group of 10 people
  • teachers of preschool and kindergarten operators of Comune di Bologna 
  • 1 adult with a child who attends workshops planned by the museum
  • tourist guides with badge, journalists with badge
  • disabled people and their helpers, Icom members
  • special agreements
  • people as indicated in clause 4, paragraph 3, letter a, b, d, e, f, g, h, i – Decree n. 507 dating 11/12/1997 and further modifications  (also students and teachers of  Conservatory and other schools as specified in the letter h of the decree)
  • Musei Metropolitani Card holders
  • Bologna Welcome Card holders

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am- 6pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am-6.30pm

Closed: Tuesdays, May 1st, Christmas

Bookshop, education section, library, temporary exhibition rooms, conference room, restoration laboratory, tagline in Italian and English (some rooms only), audio guides in English and Italian. Historical / museum consultations on the part of scholars or students who wish to do research in the Museum collections. Written request must be addressed to the Museum Director.

Activities for the public:  guided tours, lectures and workshops for children, or for further study and analysis of temporary or permanent exhibitions.

For the events calendar, costs and booking please visit the museum website.

We offer guided tours for individuals or groups (max 30 people) booking at didattica.midaticket.it. These services require creating an account. The registration process is easy, quick and free. Choose the itinerary during registration. Booking is completed when we contact you for confirmation by email or phone. 

Contact our office at: +39 051 2757244 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 am to 1 pm) or send an email to edubolognamusei@comune.bologna.it

At the time of the survey (November 2017), it was only possible to visit the Egyptian section, the lapidary collection and the temporary exhibitions room, as other areas of the museum were being renovated.

The Civic Archaeological Museum is among the experimental museums of the "Special Museums for All" project promoted by the Cultural Heritage Institute of Emilia Romagna and with the aim of promoting the active role of users with disabilities through functional and specific aids.


Motor disability and difficulty of movement


The Egyptian section is located in the basement. By contacting the staff it is possible to use the lift. The exhibition spaces are fully accessible and allow very good mobility. Even the viewing of the works on display is excellent.  To access the temporary exhibition room you need to go up 3 steps each measuring 18 cm. Again, by contacting the staff people with reduced or impaired motor skills can use a secondary entrance. The handicap restroom is located on the ground floor.


Hearing disability


Both the entrance and the spaces used as a cloak room host a number of sculptures that are not always accompanied by explanatory text or captions. Orientation in the environment is entrusted to the brochure provided at the ticket office, including colour maps and references to each room, with texts that could be improved in their readability.  Access to services for the disabled and the elevator is only possible with the assistance of internal staff. There are no means of visual communication in case of alarm in the restrooms or in the lift. The Egyptian section in the basement includes explanatory panels. However, the captions - hard to see and far from the objects to which they refer - may make an autonomous visit difficult. The educational section makes available some self-produced material that is very clear and understandable.



Visual disability


The museum has exhibits that are mainly preserved under glass, but in some sections (especially the Egyptian Section and Lapidario) original works and reproductions can be explored with touch. The experience can be done either with the help of museum educational staff or autonomously. The museum educational staff combines expertise and passion in welcoming the visually impaired. There are no explanatory materials in Braille or in large print, and captions are difficult to read for visually impaired visitors.