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While in Siracusa, we explored the Parco archeologico della Neapolis where the Greek Theatre is situated (see earlier post here). For the remainder of the afternoon, we visited the Siracusa Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Regionale ‘Paolo Orsi’), which is not far from the park. But we found it only after some serious map-reading.

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And unfortunately we had barely 30 minutes left before closing, so we literally ran through the museum without the chance of pausing to read the explanations (perhaps it is all in Italian, so it may not have mattered).

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The museum space, designed by the architect Franco Minissi was inaugurated in January 1988, and then in 2006, new space was made available on the upper floor. In 2014, a final extension was opened to show the artifacts of the catacomb under the duomo in Ortigia.

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The museum contains artefacts from the prehistoric, Greek and Roman periods found in archaeological excavations in the city and other sites in Sicily.

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From 1895 to 1934 Paolo Orsi directed the museum and did a lot of work at the nearby archaeological park. He made so much valuable and academic contributions that the museum bears his name.

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In 1890 Orsi won a competition to become inspector of excavations and museums. He was invited to Syracuse, where he devoted himself to studying the origins of the Sicani and Sicels, and of the cities of Thapsos and Megara Hyblaea.

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There is plenty here to satisfy a curious traveler but it must be a great place to linger for those interested in archaeology, classics, history, and ancient art.

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We stayed mostly at the sector dedicated to the Greek colonies in Sicily from the Ionic and Doric period.

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These are definitely greek.

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Wish we could say more about what we are showing here but it was such a rush and a shame really because there are lots to see in the museum.

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Many of the excavated finds at the Greek Theatre, which may be ornamentations of the theatre or scenes, are displayed here.

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With so many antiquities on display, the place really feels like a serious “museum”.

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Here is the museum’s website.


One Comment

  1. Neat figurine and pottery.

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