The National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Walking along via Toledo, and passing the splendid and famous Piazza Dante, we enter the steep via Pessina, which slowly leads us to the intersection of via Foria. Here stands, powerful and majestic, the Palazzo del Mann, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, one of the most enchanting and fascinating places in the city. Here the doors of Antiquity will be opened, here you can breathe the magical and rarefied air of the ancient classical and pre-classical civilizations.

Have a good adventure!

The history of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples

The Mann, National Archaeological Museum of Naples, is among the most important and prestigious museum institutions in the world: more unique than rare, in fact, its contribution to the international cultural scene. The history of the museum and its collections is inextricably linked to the name of Charles III of Bourbon, in office since 1734. In fact, the enlightened sovereign was the major promoter of the rediscovery of the Vesuvian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried by the Plinian eruption of 79 d. C., thanks to the excavation campaigns of 1738 and 1748. In addition, Carlo also took care of the formation of a Farnesian Museum, in which he had a large part of the rich Parma collections inherited from his mother Elisabetta transferred.

It was Charles's son, however, Ferdinand IV, who wanted both the family and Vesuvian collections to flow into the current building which had housed the University until 1777 and which had previously been the seat of the Cavallerizza: the the structure was the subject of a long series of renovations promoted by the architects Ferdinando Fuga and Pompeo Schiantarelli. 

During the French Decade the first installations took place, while in 1816 with the Bourbon restoration the building took the name of Real Bourbon Museum. At the beginning, it was conceived as a large universal and encyclopedic museum, welcoming important institutions such as the Royal Library, the Academy of Design etc ..., subsequently located elsewhere. 

In 1860 the Museum became National, and was gradually enriched with a large series of finds from excavation campaigns and private collections. With the decentralization of the Pinacoteca in the Reggia di Capodimonte, which took place in 1857, the National Archaeological Museum was definitively born, a large and bright lighthouse on Antiquity.

Things to see at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples

A visit to the Mann is certainly an experience not to be missed for any self-respecting tourist. In fact, the museum, with its rich and important collections, allows you to make a real journey through time, to discover our roots, in close contact with the wonders of antiquity.

Among the highlights of Mann, there is certainly the Farnese Collection, which with its masterpieces is already worth the ticket price in itself. How can we "not be stunned", in fact, in the face of works such as Armodio and Aristogitone, the so-called Tyrannicides, an imperishable symbol of the fight against tyranny? Or how not to be incredulous in the face of the monumental power of the Farnese Hercules, and the superb and grandiloquent composition of the Farnese Bull? And then, the portrait gallery and ancient gems will allow you to further deepen your knowledge of classical antiquity. 

Another highlight of Mann is the room with the Mosaics, where the Battle of Issus, a famous representation of the epic of Alexander the Great and the iconic Memento Mori, a sort of level of Totò ante-litteram, stand out among others. What to say then, of the Secret Cabinet, which a few meters away transports us to the lascivious world of the Pompeian and Herculaneum brothels, revealing the intimate and secret aspects of a culture for which sex was not a sin, but a source of pleasure and liberation? 

And then the frescoes from Pompeii and Herculaneum, which already excited the great French painter Ingres and which for their freshness and brilliance, were compared to Raphael's paintings. But that's not all. You can also admire the splendid collection of Numismatics and the surprising Egyptian Section, an extraordinary focus on one of the most important civilizations in the history of mankind. 

But your ideal journey to the Mann, in our opinion, must end with a confrontation between two extraordinary masters of sculpture, centuries apart. We refer to Polykleitos, who with his Doryphoros, dated 450 BC, represented the Kanon of ancient sculpture, a model of balance and perfection; and to the great Antonio Canova, who with his colossal Ferdinando I as Minerva placed in a niche of the central staircase, pays his homage to you visitors and to the Universal Beauty of Art.

Where to stay in Naples in the historic center

For those wishing to visit the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, and wishing to stop for more than a day in our beautiful city, we highly recommend staying in the Bed and Breakfast Museo 19, located in Piazza Cavour, just a few steps from the Mann. Museo 19 is located in a strategic position, a position that will allow you to visit the city either on foot or by subway; in fact, the prestigious B&B is located right between lines 1 and 2 of the subway, thus allowing you to plan your travels in comfort.

The rooms all have a balcony overlooking Piazza Cavour, a private bathroom, a smart TV complete with Netfix, a hairdryer and a courtesy kit. Customers can opt for a double room (double room), a triple room (superior room) or a quadruple room (deluxe room). 

The Museo 19 will welcome you with its professional and highly qualified staff, who will deliver you, upon your arrival, high quality information material that will allow you to better enjoy your Neapolitan excursions. Obviously, since tourist trekking is a very strenuous sport and requires a lot of energy, Museo 19 offers you a rich and varied breakfast. A breakfast that will meet all your needs, including food intolerances. In fact, you can opt for the dessert, enjoying the typical Neapolitan sfogliatelle or the stuffed croissants of the house, or for the savory, tasting the delicious platters of cold cuts and cheeses. Obviously these delicacies will be in good company with tea, fruit juices, coffee and so on. 

A few minutes from Piazza del Gesu and Piazza Bellini, Museo 19 is the ideal B&B for your tourist holiday in Naples. And don't forget. First stop at the Mann!