J.J. Winckelmann - Antiquity museum

Piazza della Cattedrale, 1 - Via della Cattedrale, 15 - Trieste
Minutes to visit


More info

    Type: Artistic , Historic
  • Free entry
  • Opening hours: Open the website
  • Bus: 24
  • Parking: pay-parking in the surrounding area


The museum is housed in a neo-classical palace located almost at the top of the Colle (Hill) of San Giusto. The visit is spread over three floors, hosting five rooms divided between the Roman world, depicted by statues, steles, sarcophagi and small everyday objects, and ancient Egypt. The Egyptian collection amazes with the richness of the finds (more than a thousand). Initially, the most striking things are the three mummies sarcophagi, one stuccoed and painted in wood, one in granite and one in stone.
On the first floor there are four rooms dedicated to prehistory and early local history and the Mayan collection. The rooms retell the earliest times of local history through objects that illustrate the lives of our ancestors in the Stone Age, when they lived in the caves of the Karst, and then moved during the second millennium B.C. into fortified villages, hillforts. At this time there are also the magnificent bronze objects found in the necropoli along the valley of the Isonzo.
The second floor is dedicated to classical collections and divided into the Cypriot Hall, the collection of Greek and Etruscan vases, jars from Magna Grecia and the Collection from the area of Taranto. Particularly valuable is the silver rhyton (a ritual beaker) embossed with the head of a deer.


The museum is the most important in the area dedicated to archaeology, with collections that range very widely from the chronological and geographical perspective. It was formed as a result of the collecting mania typical of the rich families of Trieste merchants who loved collecting things and then donate them to the museum. The presence of a very active port certainly facilitated the arrival of so many finds from far and wide. The gathering and holding of all these works of antiquity had a dual function: that of educating young people and the people of the city in general and acting as a model for artisans and artists.
Such a great passion for antiquity in Trieste is also explained by the importance of the fatal passage through the city of Johann Joachim Winckelmann towards the end of the 18th century. He is considered the father of Archaeology and Art History and is remembered by the cenotaph in the lapidary garden, which is nothing other than the memorial garden attached to the Museum.

Not to be missed

1. Grave goods from the site of Saint Lucia di Tolmino (Most na Soči in Slovenia), on the Upper Isonzo, the largest and richest settlement of the Halstattian cultural group in the Southeastern Alps that turned up more than 7,000 incineration graves, very rich in grave goods and dating back to the 8th to 4th centuries B.C.
2. Personal ornaments in amber and bronze in the little treasure of San Canziano del Carso (Škocjan in Slovenia, 4th - 3rd century B.C.).
3. From the Egyptian Collection, the pink granite anthropoid sarcophagus belonging to Suty-nakht, treasurer of the pharaoh, called the Panfili sarcophagus from the donor family (13th century BC)
4. Portrait of Emperor Caligula (27-41 A.D.) and the relief called "Germany captive", a province conquered by the Romans during his reign.
5. A refined series of decorative and trinkets, including a group of Venus with puttoes in amber, created by the thriving inlay industry at Aquileia in the 1st century A.D.
6. Rhyton (ritual beaker) in embossed and gilted silver depicting the head of a young deer, originating from Taranto and produced in the Greek colonies on the Black Sea, 400 B.C.)
7. Amphora apula with red figures attributed to the painter Lycurger with scenes of hunting for the Calydonian wild boar and fighting between Achilles and the Queen of the Amazons (360-340 B.C.).
8. The "Cesare Fabietti" Mayan Collection consisting of pottery and anthropoid figures in terracotta of theMaya culture from El Salvador (600-1000 A.D.).


  • Guided visit languages: Italian, English
  • Tour languages: Italian, English
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Workshops
  • Library
  • Conference room
  • Relax area
  • Refreshment point
  • Wardrobe
  • Animal access
  • Toilets


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