MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca

MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca, Cortona: Hours, Address, MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca Reviews: 4.5/5

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MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca

MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca
4.5
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
The MAEC houses an extraordinary collection bringing together all the material discovered in and around Cortona since the 1700s.The museum collection can be visited in two sections: one dedicated to the Etruscan Academy, and the other centered on the most recent findings from the Cortona necropolis. The collection of the Accademai Etrusca boasts exceptional pieces from various historical periods, like the celebrated Etruscan Chandelier, ancient Egyptian burial goods and works by futurist master Gino Severini. The section dedicated to the City of Cortona offers a journey that begins in the paleoenvironment of the Chiana Valley and arrives in the Cortona of Roman times, passing through the ancient period (580-480 B.C.E.) with the princely Etruscan tombs of the Sodo and Camucia and significant findings such as the Tabula Cortonensis, the third longest Etruscan text in the world.The layout of the museum was specifically designed to communicate with visitors in an innovative way, using both reconstructions and multimedia equipment. All texts are fully rendered in both English and Braill.
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Brun066
Florence, Italy10,120 contributions
From the mythical city of Dàrdanos to its noble Academy
Oct 2020
When, in the first year of high school, I read Virgil's Aeneid, I learned, like everyone else, that in chapter III the Aeneas' ancestors appear in a dream to the hero - while he is encamped in Crete with his companions - and they reveal to him that the order previously received from the oracle in Delos, to "return to the land of the ancestors", must refer not to Crete but to Italy, homeland of the true founder of the Trojans, the hero and demigod Dàrdanos.
Dàrdanos, mythical son of Zeus and Electra, according to a tradition collected by Virgil would be a native of Coritum, that is Cortona; and this would traditionally be the oldest city in Italy.
Obviously no one today believes that Dàrdanos, even if he ever existed, is the son of Zeus and Electra; but the tradition of Cortona's Dàrdanos is firmly established: “Via Dàrdano” is one of the main streets of the historic city. And as for the other related myth, Cortona as the oldest city in Italy, archeology doesn't credit it; but even this, despite being a fairy tale, is anyway a beautiful fairy tale for the Cortona people.
This whole chain of legends came back to my mind when I visited the MAEC in October (it was the third time for me). In fact, in the newest part of the Museum, located in the underground floors and dedicated to recent archaeological discoveries in the Cortona countryside, space is given, among other things, to passages by ancient writers who allude to the genealogy of Cortona and Dàrdanos.
This new part of the Museum is very modern from a museographic point of view: the view of the finds is captivating and everything is perfectly bilingual Italian / English.
In this section I particularly appreciated the so-called “Tabula cortonensis” in bronze: it is explained that it it's a sales contract, “disguised” however by a court sentence (I leave it to the visitor to understand why).
The upper floors are the most traditional part of the museum: they date back to the time when it was really the "Academy Museum". The old wooden display cases for the finds have been deliberately preserved. Here is perhaps the most famous exhibit in the museum, the bronze Etruscan chandelier (unfortunately, however, the current lighting prevents a clear view of the details). And then the painted portrait of a girl nicknamed "Polyhymnia", believed to be of Roman age but imitation, perhaps from the 16th century; the sumptuous “Ginori temple”, from the mid-18th century, in white and blue porcelain; the Academy Library, on the top floor, which has preserved the ancient furniture.
Overall, the MAEC is probably to be considered the central attraction of the city of Cortona.
Written 16 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cricketfan16
Banbury, UK102 contributions
Great Etruscan Museum
Sep 2020
Very impressed with this museum and saw some superb artefacts, both etruscan and roman. There are four floors featuring a grand array of exhibits and apart from everything else we rather enjoyed the Roman items from the nearby excavations. In our opinion very worth a visit.
Written 25 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Geraldine F
Rye, NY14 contributions
What a disappointment
Oct 2019
We were really looking forward to our visit. We were practically the only two people in the museum. We found the exhibits very disappointing. They were mostly chards from local excavations, floor of the Roman was uninspiring. In fact everything about the museum was uninspiring. Don’t waste your time or your money.
Written 20 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Noreen L
Boston, MA44 contributions
Etruscan Art Treasures
Aug 2019
Visited this magnificent museum, located within the center of Cortona while staying in that charming town in August. There are 4 floors of art with signage in both Italian and English. Entrance fee was reasonable. We spent an enjoyable 2 hours there. Would highly recommend if you are in that area.
Written 23 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Luiz C
Cascais, Portugal348 contributions
A Lesson of History
Jul 2019
Although in a main square the entrance is a bit hidden. Be sure to visit.
The Etruscan art collection is amazing. The exposed Roman, Medieval and Renaissance art is first rate. However the interior architecture is a bit confusing being difficult to choose the best direction for the visit
Written 13 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JRM
Deltaville, Virginia, United States25 contributions
Very educational
Jul 2019 • Family
This museum has a very well marked interior, with information in English. The exhibits are very impressive and well lit.
Written 4 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dan
10 contributions
Stunning exhibition
Aug 2019 • Family
Having an abiding interest in archaeology, we decided a stay in the Cortona area wouldn't be complete with finding out a bit more about the Etruscans, eclipsed as they are by the Romans, and MAEC seemed an obvious choice.

I was a little disconcerted by being given a reduced price ticket since the museum was apparently undergoing work to improve the exhibits, but this was in no way in evidence, and in fact was a cracking museum in all respects. Thoughtfully laid out following the chronology of the area, with well written bilingual information boards, and with a collection that could put many national museums to shame. The undisputed highlight was the superb collection of jewellery from the Sodo tumuli, as pristine as if it were made yesterday, but the rest of the Etruscan items, from ceramics to carvings was equally as fascinating and thoughtfully presented. If that wasn't enough, the upper floors are stuffed with Egyptian, Roman and many other artefacts.

All in all, well worth a visit, in particular if you combine it with a trip to the tumuli at Sodo to put it in context.
Written 1 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sarah R
San Diego, CA68 contributions
Etruscan art and history that you can see and understand
May 2019 • Couples
First of all, Cortona was originally an Etruscan city - a city state in what is now called Tuscany. The town is riddled and underlaid with ancient water wells, walls, and even a talking tube (visit Daniela Piegai’s art gallery to see more outside the museum). The art and artifacts in the MAEC are wonderfully presented to give tourists and Italians an understanding of this civilization that contributed mightily to what later became the Roman Empire.
Written 15 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

alexineberry
Clitheroe, UK194 contributions
Brilliant!
Apr 2019 • Couples
The weather was a little damp, but no problem, we spent most of the day indoors here in this huge museum. Expensive entry price should not put you off.
Written 29 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cestfiu
Portland, OR20 contributions
Well Presented Ancient History
Apr 2019 • Couples
The Etruscan exhibits are on the bottom two levels, well-presented with descriptions in Italian and English. The exhibits follow a well-marked path, and are shown in chronological order. Information includes not only the Etruscan history, but also the stories of the discoveries and archeological sites.

Upstairs is more modern material (meaning 1100-1700)

We spent a full morning there and were well-entertained and well-informed.
Written 20 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca

MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 19:00