National Archaeological Museum in Palestrina

Palestrina – ancient Praeneste – was one of the most important and thriving cities in ancient Lazio. The remains of a great past have been collected in the National Archaeological Museum of Palestrina located in the renaissance Palazzo Barberini. The location of the museum alone is worth the visit. The building stands on the summit of the ancient Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia which is considered one of the best examples of Hellenic architecture in Italy due to its imposing terrace structure. The statues and reliefs, once part of the Sanctuary, are now kept on the first of three floors in the museum entirely dedicated to the cult of the Goddess Fortuna. The colossal Mutilated Statue of Isis-Fortuna in dark stone is a majestic example of Hellenic art. The second floor displays objects discovered in the Palestrina necropolis, mostly elegant bronze and china objects, but the third floor is definitely the most interesting part of the museum. It is home to the great multi-coloured Nile Mosaic of Palestrina, a masterpiece of colour and technique and one of the largest and most important Hellenic mosaics still preserved today.

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