MUSEO ETRUSCO GUARNACCIThe evocative “modernity” of the elongated shapes of the Shadow of the evening or the glowing eyes of an elderly couple depicted on the urn of the spouses alone are worth a visit to Guarnacci, one of the oldest public museums in Europe.
The beautiful palace where they are exposed thousands of testimonies of the past Roman and Etruscan Volterra, the decor of some rooms, some criteria are also history of exposure to a certain way of doing culture.
Therefore, those who today visit the museum have, perhaps, the impression of being in front of a museum with two faces and, shall we say, with two souls: an old, reflected in rooms with old furniture and many items often placed next to each others just because they are made of the same material, and a contemporary, as reflected in the current conception of spaces with few significant findings by captions and explanatory panels.
The museum was founded in the mid-eighteenth century in that period of intense study and research on ancient Italic during which Volterra was a real cultural capital.
It is also one of the oldest and most important Etruscan museums in Italy. In it are preserved most of the material from excavations and research in Volterra and its territory.
The core of the museum consists of about 600 Etruscan funerary urns, designed to collect the ashes of the dead. The production is widespread in Volterra between the fourth and the first century. C. using a variety of materials: clay, stone, alabaster. The urns are the most significant in alabaster, easy to shape and material that lent itself well to being painted. Among the most popular exhibits is the Ombra della Sera, a bronze Etruscan its elongated shape, the Stele of Avile Tite, the Urn of the Spouses.