This outstanding museum does not look like much at first, but its exhibition halls lead one to the next in an expansive underground maze of glimmering gold and mosaics. The exhibits go chronologically, charting the gradual and fascinating shift from ancient traditions to Christian ones, and the flourishing of a distinctive Byzantine style. Of course there are icons, but also delicate frescoes (some salvaged from a church and installed on haunting floating panels) and more personal remnants of daily life.
The villa grounds, which sit next to Aristotle's Lyceum, are a series of formal gardens that include ancient ruins such as a section of the 6th-century-BC Peisistratos aqueduct. A pretty cafe overlooks the greenery.