Italy // Basilicata and Calabria //

Museo Nazionale

The Museo Nazionale at the northern end of Corso Garibaldi (closed for restoration at the time of writing) is Reggio’s main draw. It holds the most important collection of archeological finds in Calabria, full of items dating from the Hellenic period, with examples from all the major Greek sites in Calabria, including the famous pinakes or carved tablets from the sanctuary of Persephone at Locri. The most renowned exhibits in the museum are the Bronzi di Riace: two bronze statues dragged out of the Ionian Sea in 1972 near the village of Riace. They are shapely examples of the highest period of Greek art (fifth century BC), and especially prized because there are so few finds from this period in such a good state of repair. While the Museo Nazionale is closed, the Bronzi are displayed at the Palazzo del Consiglio nearby at Via Portanova (daily 9am–7.30pm; free). When it reopens, you will also be able to view examples of Byzantine and Renaissance art, including two works by Antonello da Messina.

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