The suggestive actuality of the elongated form of the Ombra della Sera (Shadow of the evening), or the disturbing expression on the faces of the ageing couple figured on the Urna degli sposi (Urn of the married couple) are reason enough to visit the Guarnacci Museum, one of the earliest public museums in Europe.
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 to the museum today might have the impression of an institution with a double personality. In the oldest part of the museum the collection is exhibited in period furniture with objects often grouped together for the sole reason they are made of the same material. In the contemporary part of the museum a more modern conception is used to display a selection of the most significant works along with explanatory panels.
The museum was founded in the mid-18th century in what was an epoch of intense research into Italian antiquity during which Volterra was an important cultural capital.
Info about opening times, guided visits and tickets: see below