The suggestive elongated form of the Ombra della Sera (Shadow of the Evening), the disturbing expression on the faces of the ageing couple figured on the Urna degli Sposi (Urn of the Married Couple), the most important collection of cinerary urns (over 600 pieces) are reason enough to visit the Etruscan Guarnacci Museum, one of the earliest public museums in Europe. The museum was founded in the mid-18th century in an age of intense research into Italian antiquity, where Volterra played a fundamental role as cultural capital
The beautiful palace where the Etruscan and Roman collections from Volterra are displayed along with the period design of the interior of the museum and the criteria used for the presentation of the collection, make an historical statement of a certain way of making culture. .
Visitors might have the impression of a museum with a double personality. In the oldest part, the collection is exhibited in period furniture with objects often grouped together because made of the same material. In the contemporary part, a modern conception displays a selection of the most significant works with explanatory panels.