Territorial Archeological Museum of Sorrentine Peninsula Georges Vallet

Piano di Sorrento - Villa Fondi, via Ripa di Cassano

Entitled to the archeologist Georges Vallet, the museum occupies the wonderful halls of Villa Fondi di Sangro, located in Via Ripa di Cassano, in Piano di Sorrento. The villa and its park, owned by the local council, were rebuilt and restored and now are an example of fine neoclassical architecture. The villa, standing on the rocks and overlooking the Bay of Naples, has a splendid view of Vesuvius and the sea. Meant to be a public park and a place for various purposes, the villa has also a modern conference hall, a show room and a cafeteria. The museum was organized by the Archaeological Superintendence of Naples and Caserta, together with the town council of Piano di Sorrento, and was inaugurated on July 17th, 1999.

This is the first museum of the whole area and was created to gather all documentation and findings of the recent excavations with the support of didactic and multimedia instruments that would register all changes in local population since prehistoric times.  The prehistoric phase is shown in hall N. 1 on ground floor, with all the grottos and the settlements. The second hall is almost completely dedicated to the excavations carried out in the area of Piano di Sorrento, in Trinità, which revealed a settlement named Gaudo that belonged to the 2nd millennium b.C.

Some pieces of archaic architecture and sculpture can be found reaching the 1st floor, amongst all a splendid marble head found in Massa Lubrense and Doric tufa capitals from Vico Equense. On the 3rd floor are parts of ancient and classical necropolis of Massa Lubrense, Vico Equense and Sorrento with their funerary equipment. The second hall, on the same floor, shows the developing of the city of Surrentum and collects the remains of the ancient town and its necropolis. Amongst all is the extraordinary tufa trapezoforo, showing a male herma, like in finer models, belonging to a colombarium’s funerary table of the first imperial age found in the necropolis. With the roman remains there were anthropomorphous columelle, glass and terracotta unguentaries and interesting vases with painted red figures from the 4th century b.C. In the same hall there is a section dedicated to the villas situated by the sea. There are marble relieves and capitals which belonged to the villa of Capo di Massa, located in Villazzano, a model of the villa of Pollio Felice and, on ground floor, the enormous female marble statue found in Sorrento in 1971, which belonged to an imperial villa. Outside, in the park, there is the reconstruction of the splendid mosaic nymphaeum, part of one of the roman villas by the sea, found in Marina della Lobra, in Massa Lubrense.