Although we normally associate Milan with fashion, design, business and innovation, the city also conceals an enthralling ancient past that begs to be discovered.
The Archaeological Museum was specifically created to evoke the ancient city and bring back its relinquished aura. The historic institution vaunts a privileged location near the 5 Vie district in Corso Magenta, integrated within a marvellous architectural complex, the ex-convent of the Monastero Maggiore di San Maurizio, founded in the eighth century AD. From 286 AD to 402 AD, Milan was the western capital of the Roman Empire and evident traces of the history of the ancient city are still to be seen. Indeed visitors pass by means of a walkway through the ancient Roman walls as they enter the Archaeological Museum.
The museum itinerary starts with an accurately-reconstructed scale model of the forum, the Imperial Palace, the thermal baths, the theatre, basilicas, circus and amphitheatre. Thanks to the recent renovations, the Museum has expanded its spaces to house Etruscan, Greek and early medieval sections.
The showpiece of the collection, and the emblem of the Museum, is the rare and celebrated Coppa Trivulzio, named in honour of the noble Milanese family in whose possession it remained for a long time. It is a stunning blown-glass, fretwork-crafted masterpiece, dating back to the late Roman Empire, that has been passed down to our time.
GOOD TO KNOW
Milano is a child-friendly city (have you already discovered MUBA?) and the Archaeological Museum is no exception. To entice and introduce younger visitors to the exciting and complex subject of Archaeology it has come up with a great idea: the "Save-the-Parent Kit", a booklet containing, in addition to tips for an intelligent visit, games and activities by age group. Click here to download and enjoy!