National Archaeological Museum of Naples

museo archeologico nazionale di napoli

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN) is a historic monumental complex that houses priceless masterpieces.

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples or simply known as MANN, is a must-see of every tourist itinerary in Campania: it is one of the greatest treasures that the Neapolitan city has generously shared with the rest of the world.

National Archaeological Museum Naples

Origins of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Originally the palace housed a riding school, at the behest of the viceroy of Naples Don Pedro Giron. The building was expected to house a cavalry barracks but the works were interrupted due to the lack of water, necessary for the survival of the horses. 

The project was reused as a “university” with an imposing architectural structure that served as a reference to the Royal Palace. 

It was not until 1816 that the Archaeological Museum of Naples was set up, at the initiative of Ferdinand I of Bourbon. The Bourbons embellished and enriched the museum with new Greco-Roman works. Thanks to their invaluable contribution, the monumental complex became the Royal Bourbon Museum.

Garibaldi assigned the adjective National when, with the Unification of Italy, the museum became state-owned.

The collections

MANN has the most extensive repertoire, from the Farnese collection to the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum found in precise archaeological research. The collections cover different eras, promoting an accurate historical re-enactment.

Objects are split into collections and sorted by inventory number, according to a cataloguing process. However, the catalogue is not yet complete as it is updated on an ongoing basis.

The main sections:

  • The basement includes both the Egyptian and the Epigraphic Collection.
  • The Farnese Collection is kept on the ground floor.
  • The mezzanine floor houses respectively the Mosaics, the Secret Cabinet and Numismatics.
  • The Salone della Meridiana, the Pompeian collections and the Villa dei Papiri are located on the first floor.

The meseum nowadays

Precise restoration and functional recovery enabled the museum’s impressive body to be reused.

Since the 2000s, it has incorporated parts of the city’s territory into its collections. The Museum has been a landmark for the archaeological protection of southern Italy.

MANN also includes Neapolis Train Station, an area below it which houses archaeological finds discovered during excavations for the construction of the Museum Subway Station.

The Museum offers many useful services to which visitors can easily access: guided tours, free changing room, refreshment bar, bookstore and educational spaces. Additionally, MANN intends to invest more by implementing innovative events and cultural activities on behalf of archaeology to rediscover identity values.

Splendid inheritance of the Bourbon domination, the National Museum lies within the soul of Naples, and a foreigner notices it more than a Neapolitan himself. […] Roman life here loses all academic solemnity, and comes to us with loquacious realism; confidence takes over reverence; one could not think of a museum like this if not in Naples. (Guido Piovene)

Useful information:

  • Web site:
  • Adress: Piazza Museo 18/19, 80135 Napoli
  • Opening: 9:00 am — 7:30 pm
  • Closure: tuesday