There are a number of museums on the Amalfi Coast which are worth visiting. In fact, with an extremely eclectic mix of museums on offer, there should certainly be something to meet everyone’s tastes and interests whether it’s art, history, nature or even transport.
You could easily argue that 2 of the biggest and best are the outdoor ‘museums’ of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii covers nearly 70 hectares of land. There is an incredible amount to see so do allow plenty of time to make sure you don’t miss anything. And remember to wear sensible shoes, and to bring plenty of water and suncream if it’s hot. Herculaneum is a smaller site but visitors should still allow 3 hours there to be able to do it justice. In ancient times, Herculaneum was a wealthy Roman town with approximately 5000 residents and has been remarkably well preserved. There are also 3 other lesser known archaelogical sites in this area – Oplontis, Stabiae and Boscoreale. For those wanting to visit all 5 sites, it is possible to buy a ticket valid for all 5 sites on 3 consecutive days which will save you money on the entry fees. Just ask for a biglietto cumulativo. Oplontis is where Nero’s 2nd wife, Poppea, is believed to have had a villa. It’s a fascinating, incredibly well preserved site and well worth visiting. Boscoreale is located to the North of Pompeii. Exhibits here really help to bring the Roman times to life. Finally, Stabia is actually not one site, but a collection of buildings discovered over the centuries and again, are worth seeing if you have the time.
For simplicity, we have simply ordered the remainder of our list of museums according to location.
Natural Science Musuem (Musei delle Scienze Naturali), Naples
Located at the city’s university, this actually incorporates 4 museums – the Museo della Mineralogia, the Museo della Anthropologia, the Museo di Paleontologia and the Museo della Zoologia. The latter is a particular hit with the kids but all four buildings are family friendly, with anything from dinosaur bones to creepy insects for children to enjoy.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples
This museum contains a large number of Roman artefacts from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, including the Alexander mosaic, originally from the House of Faun in Pompeii. It also houses a number of extremely high quality works from Greek and Renaissance times as well as the third largest collection of Egyptian artefects in Italy. Open daily from 9.00 to 19.30 with the exception of Tuesdays when the museum is closed, it’s well worth a visit for anyone interested in History. Make sure you leave enough time to be able to see the main exhibitis – we would recommend at least 3 hours.
San Lorenzo Maggiore Museum, Naples
Visitors will be able to appreciate works dating back from the Greek and Roman period through to the 19th century. It’s also one of the best places to take a look at underground Naples. Part of the original Roman city has been excavated revealing what is believed to be the Roman forum.
Museo Nitsch, Naples
In 1974, experimental artist Hermann Nitsch was invited to Naples to perform one of his actions. His performance immediately outraged onlookers leading to his immediate arrest and deportation from the country. This museum now documents the artists works through photographs, videos, props and paintings. Be warned – this museum is not for the faint hearted or squeamish!
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Naples
Opened in 2010, the Madre is the newest of Naples museums, housing some of the world’s best and most thought provoking modern artworks dating from the 1950s onwards including works by Andy Warhol and Jeff Koon. Don’t miss Paldino’s Callavo (horse) sculpture on the roof terrace. Closed Tuesdays.
Museo Nazionale delle Ceramica, Naples
Visitors can browse an extensive collection of ceramics, including pieces from as far afield as China and Japan.
Museo Nazionale di San Martino, Naples
Housed in a former monastery, the museum is home to many interesting displays and also affords visitors a glimpse of monastic life in the frescoes, gardens and cloisters of the building.
Museo Diocesano di Napoli, Naples
The home of religious themed artworks covered many different periods of History.
Museo di Capodimonte, Naples
Once home to Charles III, the building now houses a museum rich with artwork, dating from Medieval times to the present day. Closed Wednesdays.
Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, Naples
Another museum with a religious theme, this time all associated with the patron saint, San Gennaro.
Museo Nazionale Ferroviario, Naples
With an array of trains detailing the history of the engine from 1839 to the present day, there is plenty here to keep those locomative fans entertained.
Citta della Scienza, Pozzuoli
This is another museum which is sure to be a hit with the children. With plenty of interactive exhibits to enjoy it should keep the children entertained for a few hours.
Museo Correale, Sorrento
A museum housing an eclectic mix of artwork, photographic equipment, paintings and porcelain amongst other things. Closed Tuesdays.
Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea, Sorrento
The museums traces the history of Sorrento’s marquetry. There are numerous examples of inlaid furniture and objects crafted by the marquetry makers of the past.
Museo del Mare, Ischia
The museum houses all things sea-related, from marine creatures to nautical instruments. Closed February.
Museo Civico, Amalfi
A small musuem in the Amalfi town hall displaying a number of objects related to the history of the town.
Museo della Carta, Amalfi
An old paper mill that explains the traditional paper making methods. The town remains one of the European capitals of hand made paper and the museum shop is full of beautiful stationery to buy!
Museo Mineralogico Campano, Vico Equense
A small but informative minerology museum set up with the help of Pasquale Discepolo, an engineer and collector. Combine a trip here with a visit to Vesuvius before hand as some of the crystals formed by the volcano are on display here.
Museo Antiquarium Equano, Vico Equense
A small archeological museum. Free to visit.
Museo Archeologico Virtuale, Ercolano
This museum brings to life for the visitor what it would have been liked to have lived in ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum prior to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Using state of the art multimedia technology the museum will impact on all your senses. It’s a good option for those with younger children. Closed Mondays.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Paestrum
A musuem housing the treasures, relics and architectural discoveries from Paestum’s Greek, Roman and Lucian eras.