The National Archaeological Museum in Naples holds one of the most important collections of archaeological art and artifacts in Italy and is considered among the world's top archaeological museums focused on ancient Rome. In addition, the museum also hosts fascinating temporary exhibitions that merit a visit even if you have already taken in the permanent collection on previous visits. Whether it's your first or your tenth visit to the museum, it's easy to fit a peek at the collections into your time in Naples, as the museum is conveniently located right in the heart of Naples' historic center.
Here's all you need to know about visiting the Archaeological Museum in Naples (Museo Archeologico di Napoli).
*Location: Piazza Museo, 19 - Naples
*Hours: daily from 9AM to 7:30PM (some gallery halls are only open either in the morning or the afternoon); closed Tuesdays. Last entry 60 minutes before closing.
*Duration of the visit: 3-5 hours
*Ticket price: €18; children under 18 free
*Directions: metro line 1 (Museo stop) or line 2 (Piazza Cavour stop)
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN) offers a fascinating historical overview of the art and culture of ancient Rome, with a collection that is unparalleled in the world. If you are interested in Roman history, a visit here is a must. The galleries in the MANN are divided into three main sections: the Farnese Collection, made up of art and artifacts unearthed in Rome; the Pompeii Collection, with pieces from nearby Pompeii; and the Egyptian Collection, the third most important in the world after those of Cairo and the Egyptian Museum in Turin. The museum is also home to a number of private collections, including the Borgia Collection and the Santangelo Collection.
The main draw by far at the MANN is the vast collection of art and artifacts found at the ancient Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, including precious papyrus documents unearthed at a villa in Herculaneum. A visit to the museum is best paired with a tour of the archaeological sites of these two ancient cities, as well as a hike up to the volcanic crater of Mt. Vesuvius.
The Secret Cabinet
Among the many galleries and halls filled with ancient artifacts at the archeaological museum in Naples, perhaps the most famous and mysterious is the Gabinetto Segreto, or Secret Cabinet, set on the middle floor of the building and home to a rather bawdy collection of erotic art and artifacts recovered in Pompeii and Herculaneum, including mosaics, figurines, reliefs, and more. Since the contents of the collection may not be appropriate for everyone, visitors younger than 14 can only enter the Gabinetto Segreto in the MANN accompanied by an adult.
The Archaeological Museum in Naples often hosts remarkable temporary exhibitions on the lower level of the museum, which can include historic or archeological exhibits or even photography or contemporary art.
The MANN is located at Piazza Museo, 19 in the historic center of Naples, and is easy to reach by metro. Take line 1 to the Museo stop and walk about 100 meters, or line 2 to the Piazza Cavour stop.
You can also reach the archaeological museum by bus, as a number of routes have stops in the vicinity (including the 147, 182, and 201).
Otherwise, you can reach the MANN from Naples' central train station or port via taxi in just minutes.
The National Archaeological Museum in Naples is open daily except for Tuesdays from 9AM to 7:30PM (though a number of galleries and halls begin closing at 7PM); final entrance is at 6:30PM. If you are planning to visit the museum, keep in mind that the different sections of the museum have slightly different hours and you may find them closed during some portions of the day.
Opening Hours of the MANN Section by Section
Some collections inside the museum are only open in the morning from 9AM to 2PM, including the Magna Grecia collection (level 2, closed on free Sundays) and the Egyptian Collection (level 1). In the afternoon from 2 to 7:30PM, the Temple of Isis, scale model of Pompeii, and daily objects section on level 2 are open.
The museum is closed for holidays only on 25 December and 1 January.
The basic ticket for the Naples Archaeological Museum is €18 and children under 18 enter free. EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age pay €2 to enter, and holders of the Artecard can purchase a discounted ticket for €9.
Discounted tickets are €9 and are available for entry after 5PM, for Artecard holders, and for guests of OpenMann subscribers.
The Archaeological Museum participates in a number of national events to promote art and culture that offer free entry to the museum. This includes the first Sunday of each month (most often in fall and winter), during the “Settimana dei Musei” (Museum Week) in March, and during the Festa di Primavera (Spring Festival) on 21 March. Check the museum's official website for an updated calendar of free entry days.
We suggest avoiding visiting the MANN on holidays, when the museum can be uncomfortably crowded. The best time to visit is during the quieter lunchtime hours between noon and 3PM. You can purchase advance tickets to the museum with a €2 supplement for each ticket by calling 848 800 288 ( or +39 06 399 67 050 from cellphones or outside of Italy) to avoid the line at the ticket window.
The MANN is located in Naples' historic center near the Rione Sanità, an excellent neighborhood for sampling the city's famous pizza in one of the historic pizzerias along Via dei Tribunali or street food from a traditional streetside vendor.