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16 April 2021

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The Maffeiano Museum

How to visit the Maffeiano Lapidary Museum in Verona

Founded by the scholar Scipione Maffei, the Lapidary Museum of Verona contains one of the richest collections of ancient inscriptions and sculptures. Find out more

The Maffeiano Lapidary Museum is one of the oldest and finest museums in the city of Verona. The museum was created when Scipione Maffei entrusted the Veronese architect and painter Alessandro Pompei with the construction of a place that could host and guard the hundreds of inscriptions of Etruscan, Greek and Roman origins that he had collected.
Given its importance, it became one of the obligatory stops on the Grand Tour undertaken by young artists and wealthy European aristocrats. If you are visiting Verona do not miss a visit to this wonderful museum.

Who was Scipione Maffei

Scipione Maffei was born in Verona from a family of marquises and completed his studies in a Jesuit college in Parma. He later became an officer in the Bavarian army and when he returned to Italy he began writing treatises on various topics. During his travels throughout Italy he encountered numerous writers and scientists who were important for his education. In 1712 he discovered the Greek codes, which constituted one of the main discoveries of the Italian culture of the eighteenth century.

He contributed to many findings, including numerous manuscripts in the chapter library of Verona and during that time he became a point of reference for Italian intellectuals. Between 1716 and 1720 he began the collection of epigraphs that made up the Maffeiano Lapidary Museum, the first of its kind in Europe. During his scholarly career, Maffei also composed tragedies, musical dramas and poems. His most famous tragedy was “Merope”, translated into seven languages ​​and performed several times in Verona, Venice and Modena.

Museo Maffeiano

The Museum and the collections

The Maffeiano Lapidary Museum houses numerous collections of Greek, Etruscan and Roman epigraphs. The Greek collection is one of the largest in Italy, and consists of inscriptions representing the Hellenic culture of different locations and periods.

In the room on the first floor, there are Greek epigraphs from coastal areas of Asia, the Cyclades and the Ionian, Attica and the Peloponnese.

Museo Maffeiano

The collection dates to a historical period ranging from the fifth century BC to the fifth century AD. Most of the tombstones present images of sepulchral character, but there are also votive motifs, public and honorary inscriptions. The most important funerary stones come from the small island of Renea, near Delos. Most of them have a temple structure, surmounted by a tympanum and bordered by pillars. Some of the most popular motifs of these stems represent relatives greeting their deceased, funeral banquets or portraits of the deceased in their homes, near their most cherished items.
The Etruscan collection contains funerary urns that date back to a period ranging from the third to the first century BC. The themes portrayed are mainly mythological or funerary.
On the second floor there are also three stones and two funerary sepulchral markers belonging to the ancient Venetians, whose civilization developed during the first millennium BC.
Another civilization, testimony of which is found in the museum, is the Roman one. Here there are numerous Latin inscriptions from the territory of Verona, Dalmatia, Istria, Aquileia, Brescia and other Venetian cities.

Here you will also find milestones on display, or signs that were placed along the Roman roads to indicate the distance between one city and another.
Some inscriptions come from Rome and the surrounding area, and give us an idea of what life was like at that time. The room on the second-floor houses various reliefs and sculptures from the Roman age, Etruscan cinerary urns, and some Greek stones and high-reliefs.
Finally, the museum also exhibits paintings dating back to the eighteenth century, depicting its creator Scipione Maffei and the architect who collaborated in its construction, Alessandro Pompei.
The visit ends with the possibility of taking a walk over the Portoni della Bra, on a walkway that connects the museum to the Gran Guardia, with a magnificent view of the square.

How to reach the Museum - Opening Hours and Ticket Cost

The Maffeiano Lapidary Museum is in Piazza Bra, in the center of Verona, so it is easily accessible both by car and by public transport.
If you decide to arrive by car, check the car parks in the center where it is advisable to leave the car. If you prefer to reach it by public transport, consult the website of the ATV (Verona transport company).
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.30 to 14.00. A full ticket costs € 4.50, while a ticket for groups, for students aged 14-30 and adults over 60 costs € 3. For schools and children aged 8 to 14, the reduced ticket costs only € 1.
Free admission is guaranteed to adults over 65 residing in the Municipality of Verona, to people with disabilities and their companions, to Verona Card holders.

Our room in Verona

After a day spent visiting the cultural beauties of Verona, there is nothing better than resting in a quiet and comfortable room, close to the city and surrounded by greenery. Our rooms have large spaces to relax and are equipped with every kind of comfort. If you wish for the convenience of a kitchen, you can opt for our apartments. Included in the room price is the entrance to the wellness center of the hotel and a shuttle service to the historic center, the station and the airport.

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