Archaelogical Museum, Naples
The Farnese Bull is the tallest and largest work in the museum. The Doryphorus is also a fine statue. Another full length statue is the Dancing Faun which stood in Pompeii at the house of the same name. The last two statues are from Roman times, first a Roman matron and finally a River God.
Almost all of the great sculptures at the National Museum are Roman copies of Greek works that no longer exist. Starting at the entrance hall one sees an oversized Athena. In a nearby long hall is a crouching Venus and Eros next to her. From Nero's Domus Aureu comes the Venus Callypige. a great nude. as well as a famous Hercules resting.
The National Archeological Museum well deserves a long visit. It contains a large collection of ancient sculpture, many of the pieces are copies of greek original statues from classic and Hellenistic periods: Aphrodite, Apollo, Hercules, Roman emperors, busts of philosophers (Socrates), historians (Herodotus and Thucydides on a same block), Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides... For me the most impressive masterpiece was the Farnese bull, a huge marble sculptural group that represents the myth of Dirce, first wife of Lykos, king of Thebes, being tied to a bull by the sons of Antiope.
There is also a great collection of mosaics and other artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum villas. Some of the mosaics are composed by tesserae as small as 2 mm. The mosaic of Alexander the Great which depicts the battle with Darius III of Persia is the largest of the collection, but also the mosaics devoted to the theater or depicting wild animals are worth a detailed watch, as well as the famous Cave canem from Pompeii.
Beside the mosaics is the section dedicated to erotic art, composed by figurines and paintings, some of them found at the lupanar of Pompeii.
Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to enter in the room where the frescoes from Pompeii are.
There is also a collection of Egyptian art but this section was under restoration works when we visited the museum and we only saw some pieces in a small room.
The treasure are here and this is the big item on a visit to Naples if you are there for more than pizza. And believe me, I found those entire murals, statues, mosaics to be incredible and helped me to better understand the people who lived in Pompeii and Herculaneum. On my visit to those ruins I kept asking myself, "where are the items found in those houses and ruins?" At Pompeii you can see a small, almost garage sized building of pots, jugs and three plaster castings of dead people found there. You walk by it and can see it all in five minutes. But when you go to the museum in Naples, your eyes are going to be opened to the beauty of the floors, the walls and more that were carted from the ruins. It is there, to be amazed at, and if you miss this, you miss the major attraction, to my estimation of this area.
Also included are Roman statues brought from Rome, which are incredible.
Be prepared to spend at least 3 hours.
Elevator in use.
Sometimes we feel we have seen so many archeological museums at southern Europe, that we will skip them, because most of them have quite same kind of things. But somehow we felt we must see this, because we came to the area because of the Pompeij and Herculaneum.
It was worth visiting, and not too big. Actaully we thought it would have been bigger. So we had more time to wonder around Napoli itself then ;)
But maybe we waited to see even more things about Pompeij. There was some rooms with wallpaintings and mosaics and some rooms with erotic figures of Pompeij (those rooms were todl not to go without booking, as the sign said at the door of the rooms, but everyone just walked in, so I don´t know what that sign was for? Maybe it is more for the summer-season. We went at march.
There was no any kind of queue for the museum or anywhere inside at march.
The National Archelogical Museum. Havent been there myself due to my kind of trip (there wasnt any time to go) but when i come back its on the top of my things to do list.
It houses the second largest archelogical collection of Italy (first one is the Vatican museum) so you can understand that alot of very well known pieces are in this museum e.g the Farnese collection.
It's been many years but I never forgot my visit to the National Archeological Museum in Naples (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.) The most complete collections from the Classic Period. The collection from Pompei and Herculaneum began in Villa of Portici when excavations started in 1738 (moved to present building since.) Just to name a few highlights:
A most beautiful statue of Antinoo (favourite of Emperor Hadrian), classic Greek statuary interpreted in the baroque style of Hadrian's era.
The Wrestlers (Atleta) is bronze in motion! Unforgettable! (IV c. BC)
The Farnese Bull, probably the largest statue from ancient times.
The Farnese Hercules, gigantic and impressive.
Mural paintings, mosaics and ceramics from Pompei et al, famous depictions that you'll surely recognise. Very beautiful.
You would have time for a good pizza too. :)
One of world's largest and oldest museums, il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli contains an important collection of artefacts and artwork, mostly from around Naples. It is housed in a historic landmark building, built in the early 17th century originally as the University of Naples. When the university vacated in the 18th century, King Carlo di Borbone converted the edifice into a museum to showcase the Farnese Collection which he had donated. The collection included some of the finest classical sculptures in existence, some of which were brought over from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. Archaeological discoveries made around Naples in the ensuing decades further enriched the museum, particularly Pompei, Stabiae and Herculaneum. In fact, the museum is most famous for the frescoes and mosaics brought in from nearby Pompeii - the reason I was drawn to Naples in the first place. Lesser known, but equally fascinating, is the "Secret Cabinet", a separate hall containing erotic sculptures and artefacts discovered in Pompeii that would make any of us blush. It took me over 4 years (in May 09) to finally make it to this museum after visiting Pompeii in 2005, but I highly recommend rushing here afterwards to complete the appreciation of the history of Pompeii.
For photos of the incredible collection, check out the travelogues: "Pompei's Frescoes", "Graeco-Roman Statues" and "Alexander Mosaic & More."
[UPDATE: On a second visit to the museum in Apr 2010, I was disappointed to find out that the mosaics wing and the Secret Cabinet had been closed since Feb 2010 for an extended period due to preservation work.]
Okay so Naples is a poor city, and always has been. However it has Pompeii and all the stuff they found in Pompeii. Nowhere else in the world has anything like Pompeii. So you'd think they'd make the most of it. Unfortunately the musem, like Pompeii itself, is massively underfunded. So don't be surprised if half the galleries are closed or only open at certain times. I did get to see the mosaics from Pompeii (absolutely stunning) and the Secret Cabinet (all the rude stuff from Pompeii). I also got to see all the paintings from Pompeii, eventually....and they too are amazing.
However, having travelled half way round the world, I didn't get to see the Farnesi marbles. Purely and simply because they haven't got the staff to open the gallery. Unbelieveable.
Incidentally, walk from the central station...then you get to see some of old Naples.
We personally did not pay to see go in to the museum because of time, but I read that this museum offers a wonderful collection of Pompeii and Herculaneum art. We enjoyed admiring the museum from the outside and it's architecture.
Even if you only have a short time in Naples try not to miss this museum.
The mosaics and other treasures from Pompeii and Herculaneum make a wonderful introduction to the sites. They are preserved here in all there glory. Some of the mosaics consist of pieces barely more that 1mm and are breathtaking.
Don't miss the extensive model of Pompeii started in 1861. It is so detailed that it is an important historical record in itself.
Also of note are the Farnese sculptures, though sadly the famous Hercules was under wraps for my visit due to restoration of the room. I also admired the deeply carved sarcophagi on the ground floor.
A real treat.
This huge museum houses the collection Farnese - once property of Bourbon kings of Naples that was made accessible to public in late 18th century.
It contains vast amounts of greek and roman artefacts ammassed by the Farnese family and completed by the finds from Herculaneum and Pompeii - the original mosaics are housed here, being replaced by copies on site.
A must for every visit of Naples and a pre-requisite to a visit to Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Such a pity that the items are not displayed in a more attractive/enthusiastic way. The real difficulty with this museum is that once within the place, it is very hard to find out where things are i.e. a floor plan would be the very least to be expected. It was only when we went to the shop at the end that we discovered that one could buy a guide for 50 cents, which would have made all the difference in the world. I feel that the finds at Pompeii and Merculaneum were not done justice and in general, the labelling could be much improved. With the lack of floor plan and/or signs, we nearly missed the entire section devoted to the finds at Herculeaneum and Pompeii. The Farnese Collection is wonderful but again, one has to know it is there first! I feel with such an important collection that the museum could do with an injection of cash from the international community to upgrade the signage, lighting, display cabinets and so on.
The museum is very large and, for the sake of preserving sanity, could benefit from a place to have a snack/drink! The loos are clean and decent - in the basement behind the main staircase.
To reach this museum, take the underground to Museo (1 stop from Garibaldi - train station), or walk through the old centre.
Open: 09.00-20.00, closed Tuesday
Admission is Euro 10. Free for EU citizens over 65 upon production of proof of citizenship.
The Museo Nazionale, one of the best Roman Empire Museums in the world. Many of the ruins and rests of Pompeii and Herculaneum are exposed here. You’ll find sculptures of Mythological gods and emperors’ busts. You shouldn’t miss the mosaics section, with the best works from Pompeii. Other interesting sections are: "Sala dei Papiri", with the best Herculaneum’s findings, and the pictures section.
If you have been to Pompeii and Herculaneum this museum is a must. The statues and other items are fantastic
Some text and Picture of exterior from http://www.virtourist.com/europe/Naples/
The archaeological museum is on Piazza Cavour, entrance is 10 euros, audioguide 4 euros. Some of the exhibits were not open, there is a large collection from Pompeii, my favourite section was the mosaics.