Virtual Archaeological Museum

Among the most advanced in Italy, the Virtual Archaeological Museum (MAV) is a center of applied technology where the real and the ideal match up in a new form of cultural enjoyment.  

The Virtual Archaeological Museum is an educational and cognitive centre located in Ercolano, near the main tourist attractions of the city.

The MAV is definitely a pearl of the local cultural offer. It boasts a museum space with a virtual and interactive itinerary. The viewer thus has the opportunity to begin a journey back in time in the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, before the eruption of 79 A.D. buried them under ashes and lapilli.

Virtual Archaeological Museum

Virtual Archaeological Museum: when it was set up

In 2003 the protocol for the redevelopment of the former school complex was signed, used as a museum. The structure was inaugurated subsequently, in 2008, with the aim of reviving the Roman era through the visual, auditory and tactile experience. Although the MAV was set up with specific intentions, it does not disregard a process of continuous evolution, through the maturation of ideas, stories and contents.

MAV’s technologies

The application of the archaeological heritage is ensured by a multimedia technology. The viewer is in fact catapulted into a virtual dimension through scenic reconstructions, visual interfaces and holograms. Taking into account the absence of physical finds, the visit takes place exclusively through three-dimensional reconstruction techniques, multi-sensory effects and virtual books. In particular, there is a total of seventy installations.

MAV is also equipped with a gallery which, in addition to holding exhibitions, houses a 3D projection room, reproducing the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. The installation is also equipped with a vibrating platform that simulates the earthquakes that occurred simultaneously.

The events were subsequently reconstructed on the basis of letters from Pliny the Younger to Tacitus.

Visiting itineraries of the MAV

The main itinerary focuses on peculiar aspects of ancient cities, from the domus (the Casa del Fauno, the Casa del Citarista in Pompeii, the House of the Tragic Poet, the House of the Labyrinth) to the majestic villas of Roman times (including the wonders of the Villa dei Papiri).

Inside the MAV there are evocative virtual reconstructions of places, from the Bourbon tunnels where is possible to admire the scenery of the ancient Herculaneum, to the cave with Vesuvian wall paintings, whose details can be enlarged and analyzed. Equally striking are the visual reconstructions of the sound-gallery, depicting a crowded market. No less important is the perfume room, where you can breathe smells of spices, ointments and balms used at that time by the Romans.

It is a fully interactive space-time journey. The visitor will be personally involved by interacting within immersive environments where it will be possible to explore, interact and even overcome the barriers of time and space.

In conclusion, the MAV contributes to the further growth of the nation’s digital culture.


Address: Via IV Novembre 44, 80056, Ercolano
Web site:
Opening: Wednesday / Sunday 10-16 (opening times and days may vary)
Visiting conditions: admission fee