The Museum

The Civico Museo Archeologico e della Città di Savona, opened in 1990 in the Fortress on the Priamàr hill, mainly exhibits materials from the archaeological research carried out by the International Institute of Ligurian Studies (in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency and the Municipality) since the mid-1950s, in the Priamàr itself and the area near it.

The Museum is located inside the Palazzo della Loggia; the museum’s itinerary, which has ceramics as its leitmotif, is developed on two floors and illustrates the main excavation sites carried out so far in the Savona area.

The exposition, curated by Guido Canali and the International Institute of Ligurian Studies (IISL) with founding from Municipality and Cassa di Risparmio di Savona, look towards  constant renewal of its scientific content through  the new data from the archaeological surveys conducted by IISL on the Priamàr hill and in the area around Savona. The successful integration of suggestive excavation areas left in view into the museum space will help the visitor to take journey back in the ancient time.

The Museum is part of the MUSA (Civici Musei Savona) and it is included in the museum network of Regione Liguria and Provincia di Savona. It is currently included in IISL museum network, that include also:

Ground Floor

The entrance to the Museum is located in the medieval Sala ad Ombrello (Umbrella Room). On the ground floor, you can see as mosaics, marble reliefs, glass and ceramics from the old collections of archaeological materials and the archaeological finds from the surveys on the Priamàr hill (1969-1989), dating from the Bronze Age to the Early Middle-Age.

Of great interest is the archeological area with a Byzantine necropolis (IV-VII century A.D.). In the slate floor there are glass spaces that allow you to observe the excavation area below with some burials of the necropolis.

Since 2019 in the Umbrella Room contains the exhibitions on the excavations of the ancient medieval cathedral of Savona (VII-XVI century A.D., closed for worship in 1543 and then destroyed by the Genoese for the fortress expansion). Since 1956 the International Institute of Ligurian Studies organizes excavation campaigns, authorized by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Assets and Heritage, to reconstruct the history of the area.

First Floor

On the first floor the visit continues with an illustration of the history through the archeological, historical and artistic medieval and modern times from the several excavations on the Priamàr hill and around the area of Savona.

The main theme of the museum exhibition is ceramic: several examples of imported pottery testify the intense maritime trade of the medieval city centers in the Mediterranean, followed by local production that since the end of the 12th century made of Savona one of the most important centers of ceramic production till the present day. The following section, in chronological order, contains many examples of ceramics of local production documented from the late XII century A.D. Savona was one of the most important production center in the Middle Ages.

Two sections are dedicated to  the materials from the archaeological research in the district of San Domenico, with its church and convent, and the district of the Cassari. The research has allowed the reconstruction of the life of those medieval areas and their activities. Another part of the exposition is focused on the ten medieval oratories and brotherhoods that until 1542 were located on the Priamàr hill: that entire part of the city was destroyed between 1542-1544 with the the construction of the fortress imposed by Genoa. The successive construction enlargements in the XVII and XVIII centuries caused further destruction of the medieval area of the city.

The last part of the museum contains several pieces from the collection of International Institute of Ligurian Studies and the Centro Ligure per la storia della Ceramica; the objects on display are ceramics produced in Liguria in the XVII – XIX centuries.

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