The Archaeological Museum of Naples, nicknamed MANN, is one of the oldest and most important museums dedicated to the ancient world. Its birth and development are linked to the royal family of the Bourbons; the splendid Farnese Collection and the frescoes and mosaics found in Pompeii are legacies of the monarchs.
The MANN is a must-see stop on any trip to the city of Vesuvius and my article gives you all the information you need to know before buying your ticket. You will discover what to see and do in Naples and in its most representative museum.
How much do tickets to the Archaeological Museum cost?
A standard ticket costs 15 € although there are exceptions. The list below details all the options available:
- All persons under 18 years of age enter free of charge.
- Disabled persons and accompanying persons (one per person) also get in free of charge.
- European Union citizens between 18 and 25 years of age (under 25) pay a symbolic price: 2 €.
- There is also a family ticket. In this case it is valid for two adults and costs 26 €.
Are there guided tours of the Archaeological Museum of Naples and is it worth it?
The MANN organizes guided tours throughout the week except on Tuesdays, which is the closing day. Tours generally last approximately 2 hours and are led by regionally certified guides.
The organization of the tour depends on participation; in the case of groups of more than 10 people, headphones will be provided.
Generally, the standard ticket costs approximately 12 € while it is free for children under 18 years of age.
Opening hours of the Archaeological Museum of Naples
The museum is open all week except Tuesday. On the other days you can visit from 9:00 to 19:30. Please note that at 19:00 they begin to organize the closing and therefore, it is advisable to arrive in front of the entrance a little earlier. On some occasions there are reduced opening hours:
- December 25: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- January 1st: from 14:00 to 19:30
The works you can't miss at the Archaeological Museum
The cultural institution dedicated to the ancient world is one of the must-see museums of Naples. It has been a beacon of culture since the 18th century and gathers perfectly preserved works. Below is our top five:
- Pompeian frescoes and mosaics, the decorations "detached" from the villas and placed safely inside the archaeological museum. Paintings and mosaics were discovered during excavations carried out in the eighteenth century. If you are interested in the subject, I recommend you to book an excursion to Pompeii and Ercolano from Naples.
- Collezione Farnese, the collection of ancient and modern objects of Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope under the name of Paul III. His successors took up the inheritance and expanded the collection with objects acquired on the antiquities market or from archaeological excavations.
- Gallery of the Emperors, a series of modern sculptures representing the Roman emperors. Among the most elegant we can mention the portrait of Julius Caesar and the statue of Marcus Aurelius.
- Egyptian collection. The flagship are the works belonging to the Borgia collection that was established in the second half of the eighteenth century by Cardinal Stefano Borgia. It includes mostly everyday accessories and funerary objects found between the Nile delta and the ancient city of Menfi. This collection reflects the interest in oriental art of the time.
- Gabinetto Segreto, a collection of erotic artifacts found in the residences of Pompeii. This extraordinary material reveals how sexuality was lived in the ancient world.
How to get to the Archaeological Museum of Naples
The cultural institution is located in Piazza Museo 19, a short distance from the central Piazza Cavour. Technically it is part of the "Stella" neighborhood although it is popularly known as Rione Sanità. Getting here is very easy, you just need to choose the following options:
- Metro, undoubtedly the most comfortable option. You can get off at the stations "Museo" (line 1) or "Napoli Piazza Cavour" (line 2). Actually, the latter is not a real metro but a kind of suburban train that operates underground as if it were a subway. In both cases, you will have to walk at most 5 minutes to get in front of the entrance.
- From Piazza Garibaldi (where the central station is located) you can reach the Archaeological Museum by taking bus number 650. For more information, I recommend you to consult the website of the local transport company.
This is the store of the Archaeological Museum of Naples
Near the entrance you will find a bookshop with books dedicated to archaeology, exhibition catalogs and museum guides.
The bookshop is managed by Electra, a publishing house of the Mondadori Group that is also present in other cultural institutions in the country. In addition to volumes, you can buy bookmarks, reproductions of works of art, gadgets, T-shirts, stationery and much more.
How much time do you need to visit the Archaeological Museum?
It depends on your interest. In general, it is advisable to dedicate at least two hours. However, those who are passionate about ancient art can dedicate half a day to the visit.
Keep in mind that, in addition to the archaeological finds, the museum also hosts exhibitions that are not necessarily related to classical art. If you are interested in them, the visit will inevitably be longer.
Is it advisable to go to the Archaeological Museum of Naples with children?
In my opinion, this is not a particularly recommended attraction for children. If I were traveling with my kids, I would choose the following options:
- Città della Scienza, Italy's first interactive science museum. It is designed especially for families and among its most famous attractions we can mention the museum dedicated to the human body and the 3D planetarium. For more information, see the official website (Via Coroglio 57/104).
- Visiting the subway Naples, the ideal choice for little explorers. There are two routes through corridors, cisterns and spaces used during the bombings of World War II.
- Zoological Garden, a green area that has returned to its former splendor. It houses rare animals such as the royal condor and the black rhinoceros. In spring and summer open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm (weekends) and from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (weekdays).
- Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte. Organizes ASTROKIDS, workshops for children and parents to spread the passion for astronomy. They are aimed at an audience between 6 and 10 years old. To learn more I advise you to consult the official website (Salita Moiariello 16).
Where to eat near the Archaeological Museum of Naples
After a visit, sometimes you get the munchies. Fortunately, the Archaeological Museum is located in one of the city's most popular neighborhoods - Rione Sanità - which boasts a myriad of restaurants and bars with cuisine. All options are within a 15-minute walk of the museum:
- Cantina del Gallo, a must-visit stop in Rione Sanità. Its star dishes are three: pennette alla sorrentina (short pasta with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil), baked cod and pizza cafona (with potatoes and sausage). You will find it in Via Alessandro Telesino 21.
- Pizzeria da Concettina ai Tre Santi, one of the best pizzerias in town, is a family business that has reached the fourth generation! It is about ten minutes walk from the museum (Via Arena alla Sanità 7).
- Taverna Luciana, an informal restaurant that proposes the dishes of the Neapolitan tradition. The highlight is the Pizza Luciana that pays homage to the neighborhood "Stella" (star in Spanish). The dough has this shape and is garnished with a layer of tomato sauce and some tasty octopus. The cornice, in this case the tips of the star, is filled with provolone, mussels, spicy oil and pecorino (Via Santa Teresa Degli Scalzi 143/145).
- Starita, a pizzeria with a very wide selection. You can choose from classic, specialty, seasonal and fried pizzas. It has two more branches: one in Milan and one in New York, a success without borders (Via Materdei 27/28).
Do you have room left for dessert? Then I recommend you reach for the Poppella pastry shop whose flagship is the fiocco di neve, a cream cake topped with powdered sugar. You can also choose a chocolate or pistachio filling. The establishment is located in Via Sanità 147. If you are a good fork, I advise you to read the post about the best gastronomic tours in Naples.