The National Archaeological Museum of Palestrina

Sala Museo Palestrina

The National Archaeological Museum of Palestrina, hosted inside the Colonna-Barberini Palace, was opened in 1998; the Museum set-up was based substantially on thematic criteria that took in considaration the chronological elements and source of finds. The museum itinerary takes place within succession of different themes, from the cult of Fortune, Hellenistic and Iconic sculpture to the Augustan and Imperial Age …

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Barberini Palace

Museo Archeologico Nazionale Palestrina

The old palace was built by Colonna family on the structures of semi cycle above the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia around 1050, when family settled at Palestrina. The building underwent a first destruction in 1298, when Palestrina, after a siege that lasted nearly a year, was compleatly destroyed on demande of Boniface VIII, who had ordered the confiscation of family’s …

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Domus and Houses


The typical Roman House, which was widely distributed (from the beginning) even in the Latin cities such as Praeneste, was called domus by the Latins. Today archaeologists indicate with this word urban single-family housing, variable-size, whose rooms are articulated around a central opend courtyard (atrium) that provides light inside the rooms, usually closed to outside for safety reasons. At the …

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The Imperial Age

The story of Palestrina during the Imperial age is less known, but to judge from the inscriptions, remains of buildings and evidences of considerable artistic level, that have been preserved to the present day, it was a period of discreet prosperity, however not comparable with the splendors of the Republican Age. In the Augustan Age the monuments and archaeological finds …

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The late Republican Age and new prosperity of Praeneste

At the end of the 2nd century BC a new sensitive rebirth of Praeneste was noticed, a period of great prosperity and wealth, documented mainly by impressive and monumental urban restoration of public buildings of civil and sacred character. The Prenestins in fact, like citizens of many other small centers of Latium region took advantage of Rome’s wars in the …

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The Republican era and the Punic Wars


While the archaeologists document the wealth and importance of Praeneste in Orientalizing and Archaic age, the first news handed down by the ancient authors are only at the beginning of the Republican era, whan the contrasted relatioships with Latin League are remembered. We also know that at the end of 5th century BC members of the most prominent prenestine families, …

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The archaic age (6th-5th century BC)

For the period of Archaic age the testimony about necropolis are much more limited/rare, although still demonstrate a continuity of relationships with the Etruria, and we may assume that it is a period of crisis for the city of Palestrina, at least until the end of the 6th century BC, although it is possible that this lack of documentation depends …

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Mythical origins and the oldest residental area of Praeneste

Ancient myths attribute the founding of the city to different characters; Greek sources lead back to Prainestos, son of King Latinus and grandson of Ulysses, or Telegono, son of Ulysses and Circe. Virgil, however, collects an Italic tradition according to which it is Caeculus to build the city, the blind son of the god Vulcan, killed by Aeneas. Even illustrious …

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Bombings of 1944

Convento Faenesiane

On the 10th of June 1940, fascist Italy enters the war. After about three years of unsuccessful military campaigns on 10th of July 1943 the allies landed in Sicily. On 25th of July 1943 falls the regime, and on September the 8th Italy signs the Armistice and its territory get occupied by German troops. The resurgence of peninsula by Allied …

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Mosaic of Pisces

Mosaico dei pesci

The so-called Cave of Fates was originally a natural cave wich around the middle 2nd century BC was framed in a structure of tuff blocks and at the end of the same century  was included in the complex of Forum. Splendid mosaic decoration (Mosaic of Pisces) dating back at the end of 2nd century BC, was unfortunately damaged by subsequent …

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