Sassari's premier museum, housed in a grand Palladian villa, has a comprehensive archaeological collection and an ethnographical section dedicated to Sardinian folk art. The highlight is the nuraghic bronzeware, including weapons, bracelets, votive boats and figurines depicting humans and animals. At the time of research it was closed indefinitely for renovations.
Archaeological artefacts are displayed in chronologically ordered rooms, starting with the Sala Preistorica, which showcases finds from the Stone Age and Neolithic periods. In this and the room dedicated to finds from the Copper Age temple of Monte d’Accoddi, you’ll find an array of fossils, pottery fragments and bone tools.
Beyond these, the museum opens up in a series of displays dedicated to megalithic tombs and domus de janas (fairy houses).
Sections dedicated to the Phoenician and Carthaginian eras reveal some exquisite pottery, gold jewellery and masks. Continuing on, the Roman collection is mostly made up of ceramics and oil burners, but there are also some statues and a sprinkling of coins, jewellery and household objects. Off to one side lies a stash of heavy Roman anchors.
The 1st floor is given over to the museum's nuraghic collection, with reconstructions of nuraghi and finds from sites around Sassari and Alghero. Ceramics, household items and pottery are displayed, but the star feature is the sophisticated bronzeware, including tools, jewellery and bronzetti (bronze figurines).
A separate ethnographic section has a small collection of Sardinian folk art plus an eclectic array of carpets, saddlebags, embroidered clothes and curious terracotta hot-water bottles.