Museum of Adrano, archaeology and history under the volcanoMuseum of Adrano, archaeology and history under the volcano

 The history

The first archeological museum was founded in Adrano in 1902 by the will of the Reverend Salvatore Petronio Russo, passionate lover of history and archeology of the town.  At that time the museum consisted of two sections which were situated in the same house of the founder.

In the first section, dedicated to the town of Adrano, it was possible to admire, according to the description of the  priest, "tools of stone ..., archaic Greek and Roman bronzes; Etruscan,  Cuman, indigenous and siceliot vases". In the second one was preserved the archaeological documentation founded in the indigenous settlement of Mendolito.

According to Petronio Russo, the collection had to have "scientific, historical – topographic characteristic" and had to contain only finds from the territory of Adrano.

The collections of first archaeological museum of Adrano.
(G. PATERNO' CASTELLO, Nicosia, Cerami, Troina, Adernò, Bergamo 1907)

Unfortunately the collections gathered in it, of which there is an image in a publication of 1907, were almost all lost when the founder died, except some finds which  are among the most valuable objects in the museum today.

In the period between the two world wars, a second museum was created inside the Aula Magna at the Royal Gymnasium - Liceo "Giovanni Verga” in Adrano, housed in the ancient St. Lucia Monastery.  Unfortunately, even the objects in this exhibition were partially dispersed during aerial bombardments of the Second World War.

A few years after the end of the conflict a museum was established at Adrano. The first premises were modest: at  first moment, it was a premises near the small municipal gym, successively the museum was transferred in the house of the guardian of the public gardens. In 1958 the municipal administration has earmarked as premises of the Museum the monumental Norman Castle.

A few years after the Archaeological Superintendence of Syracuse, governed by Luigi Bernabò Brea, assumed the task to take care of archaeological heritage until then collected and it instituted officially the Antiquarium of Adrano.  Saro Franco, a young professor of Latin and Greek, passionate lover of Adrano history and archeology , appointed by the Ministry of Education inspector for the monuments, was instructed to treat and promote the museum.

Norman Castle.  Interior of the Museum
(furnishings sixties-seventies)

In the following years, thanks to restoration work, the exhibition space was expanded so as to provide the best location for collections coming from donations and occasional recoveries and, above all, from regular excavations carried out by the Superintendence not only in the territory of Adrano but also in other areas of eastern Sicily.

Bust of goddess from S.Maria di Licodia (CT)
preserved in the museum of Adrano after its discovery

Over the course of time the tireless work of Saro Franco led to the creation of new expositive sections. Thus an historical archive, a gallery, a section about local crafts were originated. 

Norman Castle
Furnishing of the museum before beginning works of restructuring P.O.R 2000-2006 

Today the Museum is the greatest cultural reality of the area. Point of reference for everyone who wants to know the history of the people who lived in the piedmont zone of the western side of Etna.

made by Mediaetna  credits
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