Montelupo Fiorentino – Museum of Archaeology
Via di San Lucia to the Ambrogiana 10, Montelupo Fiorentino
tel. +39 0571 541547
Mondays 10.00 a.m. -1.00 p.m. and 3.00-7.00 p.m.
On the other days opening by reservation only calling +39 370 3305087 (48 hours in advance)
Before we go inside, we need to focus on the beautiful building that houses the archaeological museum of Montelupo Fiorentino. It is one of those places where you would stay forever. It perfectly combines an ancient structure with today's necessary functionality. After all, this is the essence of the mission of any modern museum.
But taking a look around helps us understand the richness of the objects on the inside, because many of them come from Etruscan settlements from the surrounding hills and from the silent protagonist flowing nearby, the Arno, which for millennia has been the waterway for the transport of all kinds of treasures. Some of them stopped right here, and among all of them, one in particular. The museum has been built on the remains of a Lombard church, which is just a coincidence for a meeting, right on the threshold. Dante Alighieri himself, going inside, reminds us:
And later, when the tooth of Lombardy
the Holy Church had bitten, Charles the Great
came to her help by conquering ’neath its wings.
[Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Paradise VI chant]
Maybe it is accidental, but among the many objects that tell the long span of the story that the museum presents to us, there is a Hansa-Schalen, a bronze basin of Northern European origin that is the only one in the world that shows the writing Karolus Imperator, Emperor Charlemagne.
Next to it, there is a metope that portrays the mysterious face of a woman with swirls and acanthus leaves; a similar work of art is preserved in the Vatican Museums. It is made of terracotta and it was found in a tank at the Montereggi site, where it had been laid, probably for ritual reasons. Let's go inside to meet her glance and find out what she wants to tell us.