Museo delle Antiche Genti di Lucania and the sites of Serra and Rossano

Archaeological Museums

By enhancing local resources, following a more innovative concept of local museum, the Museum of the Ancient People of Lucania in Vaglio Basilicata exhibits evocative virtual reconstructions of the main archaeological sites scattered around the area.

According to the concept of ‘museo diffuso’, and extended, open-air museum, the archaeological sites of Serra and Rossano have been added to the tour. Rossano’s site boasts a sacred area with an extraurban sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Mefitis (a highly venerated goddess of waters), founded in the second half of the 4th century BC and inhabited until the early Roman age. On Mount Serra San Bernardo, in Serra di Vaglio, the remains of an ancient settlement, whose origins date back to the 8th century BC, have been found. Several archaeological finds and terracotta pots, of ancient Greece style and dating from the 6th to the 4th centuries BC, have also been discovered.

National Archaeological Museum “Domenico Ridola” in Matera

Archaeological Museums

The history of mankind in Matera’s surroundings is exhibited at the national archaeological museum, the oldest museum in Basilicata, established in 1911 by Domenico Ridola, a physician with a keen interest in archaeological research. The rich prehistoric collection displays a wide variety of stone tools and potteries, narrating the evolutionary path of man in the city of the Sassi, from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Upper Neolithic. The hall dedicated to the museum’s founder has preserved the charm of its original setting and displays documents attesting Ridola’s activities as physician, politician and archaeologist. The Rizzon Collection is particularly remarkable: an exceptional collection of Lucanian and Apulian red-figure vases dating back to 4th century BC, bearing testimony to the evolution of ancient Greek pottery.

National Archaeological Museum "Dinu Adamesteanu"

Archaeological Museums

Since 2005, the prestigious Palazzo Loffredo, in the heart of Potenza historic centre, has housed the national archaeological museum of Basilicata, named after Dinu Adamesteanu, the Romanian archaeologist who was the first head of the archaeological heritage office of Basilicata region (1964-1977).
The museum boasts an exhibition space of over two thousand square metres, where the story of an ancient past is narrated. Two floors, featuring 22 rooms and 8 sections, illustrate the region’s cultural evolution, from the period preceding Greek colonisation to the Roman conquest.

The Provincial Archaeological Museum of Potenza

Archaeological Museums

The museo archeologico provinciale (provincial archaeological museum) of Potenza retains the historical memory of the area and guides visitors through thediscovery of the uses, cults and traditions of the peoples who had settled in Basilicata, from the Greek colonisation to the late Imperial Age. The museum’s permanent collection on the first floor includes remains found in the Greek colony of Metaponto, in the indigenous sites of the area surrounding Potenza and the Romanised inland towns. It hosts temporary exhibitions on archaeology, modern and contemporary art, with guided tours and educational activities.

The National Archaeological Museum of Bernalda-Metaponto

Archaeological Museums

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) of Metaponto is one of the most authoritative records
of the ancient Magna Graecia culture and history. Its large exhibition venues boast over two thousand finds from excavations carried out in the ancient town of Me- tapontum, where the Greek philosopher Pythagoras founded his school and died, in the necropolis, in the colony’s fields, and in some locations on the Ionian coast and its hinterland, along the Bradano and Basento river valleys. Other sections of the museum are dedicated to the ancient Greek colonies of Siris and Herakleia and the ancient Italian world of the Agri and Sinni valleys.

The archaeological park, located north of Metaponto Borgo, includes the urban sanctuary, part of theagora, the handicraft district for ceramics’ production (kerameikos), and the great north-south road system (plateia). There are traces of a remarkable number of monuments, which have marked the civil and religious life of the colony, from the initial phases of its foundation until the Roman conquest in the 3rd century BC. The famous Tavole Palatine (Palatine Tables) are really a must-see for any visitor.

The National Museum of the Siritide of Policoro

Archaeological Museums

The National Museum of the Siritide of Policoro displays documents from the prehistoric and medieval ages and traces of the ancient Greek culture and the gradual hellenisation of the hinterland. Large display cabinets hold many finds discovered during the long excavation activities carried out in the area and started by archaeologist Dinu Adamesteanu in the 1960s. The museum offers its visi- tors a fascinating journey into discovering history and ancient culture, displaying finds coming from princes and warriors’ tombstones, Greek and Lucanian places of worship, precious jewels and fine pottery. The museum houses the materials and reconstructions of the different phases of the famous city of Siris – with votive statues and funerary objects (7th-6th century BC) and painted pottery of local production – and the Herakleia phase, through statuettes, votive objects and funerary objects (4th-3rd century BC).

The museum is adjacent to the archaeolo- gical park which includes the acropolis of Herakleia, founded in 433/32 BC, and the urban sanctuaries.


The National Archaeological Museum of Venosa

Archaeological Museums

The national archaeological museum of Venosa is contiguous to the walls of the Aragonese castle, commissioned by Pirro del Balzo in 1470. Inaugurated in 1991, the museum itinerary includes five sections ranging from prehistoric and pre-Roman times to the High Middle Ages. Numerous epigraphs, mostly of funerary kind, are displayed to visitors. Since 1996, the museum has showcased a section dedicated to prehistory, from the lower Palaeolithic to the Metal Age.


National Archaeological Museum of Alta Val D'Agri and the Archaeological Area of ​​Grumentum

Archaeological Museums

In his “History of Basilicata”, Tommaso Pedio writes that “the most illustrious city in Roman Lucania is Grumentum”. Located along the Via Erculea, Grumento was home to Bindaice, Ocilo and Ocello, all students of Pythagoras, and the summer residence of Roman senators. Today, Grumento Nova stands on a high hill in the Agri Valley, near the remains of the ancient city, which was destroyed by the Saracens in 1031.

Steeped in history and culture, the town offers visitors an interesting tour across sacred buildings and noble palaces, archaeological sites and museums. Among the churches, the ones dedicated to Saint Anthony and the Holy Rosary stand out, while among the “palaces of power”, the Sanseverino castle of Norman origin is really worth seeking out. Furthermore, Grumento archaeology is proudly displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Contrada Spineta, while the Roman remains of Grumentum rise from the nearby archaeological park, considered one of the most important in southern Italy. The park’s most significant remains include a theatre dating back to the Augustan Age, two small temples from the Imperial Age, a patrician domus, the casa dei mosaici (house of mosaics) and the elliptical amphitheatre, which used to host gladiator games and attract the merchants travelling along the Empire’s streets.

NationalArchaeological Museum of Alta Val D’Agri

The National Archaeological Museum of the Alta Val d’Agri is the only national museum in the south-western area of Basilicata and narrates the history of the Roman city of Grumentum and the Alta Val d’Agri. In recent years, the cultural offer has been enriched with the exhibition of materials from new excavation campaigns, which led to the discovery of the Imperial Baths and the Forum.


The National Archaeological Museum of Muro Lucano

Archaeological Museums

Built in 2003 within the former Bishop’s seminary, the National Archaeological Museum of Muro Lucano constitutes a single monumental complex with the Cathedral, the bishop’s palace, the curia and the nearby castle. An exhibition venue of a thousand square metres spreads over three levels and five themed sections on permanent display, and preserves centuries of local archaeology, with particular reference to the north-we- stern area where the Peuketiantes lived.


The National Archaeological Museum of Melfi "Massimo Pallottino"

Archaeological Museums

The National Archaeological Museum of Melfi, enclosed within the Norman Swabian Castle of the village, narrates the story of
the people who had lived in the Melfi area. The classical section goes from the 4th-3rd century BC, the Roman period starts from the 2nd century BC, while the archaic phase co- vers the period from the 7th-6th century BC, showing significant archaeological documen- ts found in the area. The Roman era is docu- mented by the splendid funerary monument of the 2nd century AD, the Sarcophagus of Rapolla, attributed to workshops in Asia Mi- nor. Along the itinerary, you can visit the Sale Doria, halls with some original 18th-century furnishings and 17th-century paintings.