Cortona is already known for its archeology parks with Etruscan ruins, so it makes sense that one of the country's best museums on the subject is found there. The Museum of the Etruscan Academy is actually two museums combined in one, that together cover the whole history of Cortona, from the prehistoric era to the contemporary times.

It is housed in Palazzo Casali on Piazza Signorelli, a noble residence that dates back to the 13th century that was the seat of the city's "captains," the rulers who presided over the surrounding area, which was once known at Palazzo Pretoria, situated between the town hall and the theater.

The Valdichiana was an important zone for the Etruscan civilization, where the burial mounds of Camucia and Sodo were discovered. Artifacts from these sites are displayed, including vases, goblets, jewelry, papyrus and other items that were placed in the spacious tombs to send these "princes" into the afterlife. Spread out on four floors, it is a vast collection worth seeing. There are also paintings by local artists, including one by famed painted Signorelli.

The Museo della Accademia Etrusca in Cortona is open varied hours based on season:

From April through October - from 10:00 AM til 7:00 PM; from November through March - from 10:00 AM til 5:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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Address in Cortona:

Piazza Luca Signorelli, 9,.

Ph. (+39) 057 563 7235.

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