Description of the museum : Diocesan Museum and Archaeological Route
The museum is located in comune di Benevento in the province of Benevento.
The Diocesan Museum was officially opened on 25 May 1981. The museum is housed in a pseudo-crypt located in the lower part of the cathedral, which contains structural elements from the Roman era and fragments of paintings from the early medieval and Gothic periods.
In the early 2000s, marked by the celebration of the Jubilee, the museum underwent an expansion and new important collections were exhibited. On 18 December 2012, a new museum layout was inaugurated; this was the result of fruitful excavation work supervised by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
Thanks to this work, important cultural-historical data was collected; the findings consist of living structures and archaeological finds from prehistoric, Bronze Age and medieval times.
Further extension work is planned; an area of over 1,000 square metres will be added to the existing exhibition space. In the new exhibition area, it is planned to display ancient medieval codices, ancient rituals from southern Italy and ancient writings from Benevento.
Access to the excavations is located under the presbytery, which is at the end of the right aisle from the main entrance of the Cathedral. Thanks to the information panels, images, virtual reconstructions and showcases, visitors can observe the evidence of the various settlements that have taken place over time and gain a better understanding of the cathedral’s thousand-year history.
The tour begins by going back to Roman times, where stone artefacts and sixteen glass ampullae dating from the 1st century to the 4th century A.D. are on display; it dwells on the first Christianisation, the proto-bishop Gennaro, the establishment of the church and the archaeological finds discovered thanks to the work carried out recently.
Next, one room is reserved for four groups of fragments from the burial charms, dating back to the 9th century AD, of the Lombard princes of Benevento: Sicon, Radelchi I, Radelgairo and Caretruda. These fragments came from the last blind arch on the right side of the cathedral front (ruined by bombing). In addition, there are floor fragments of different materials and epochs on display.
The visit ends with a painting on canvas by Cosimo Pedicini depicting the façade of the Cathedral and a 14th-century marble statue of a winged figure holding a child and lamb by the hand.
During the visit, the tour group is limited to a maximum of 10 people and must always be accompanied by the Diocesan Office staff.
Piazza Orsini, 27, 82100 Benevento BN, Italia
Open Tuesday to Saturday - 09:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00. Closed on Mondays and Sundays.