Museo Archeologico

Top choice in Gela

This splendid archaeological museum offers insight into Gela's great artistic past. It contains artefacts from the city's ancient acropolis and is famed for its fine collection of red-and-black kraters: these terracotta vases, used to mix wine and water, were a local specialty between the 7th and 4th centuries BC, admired throughout the Greek world for their delicate designs and superb figurative work. Other treasures include a remarkable collection of 530 silver coins minted in Agrigento, Gela, Syracuse, Messina and Athens.

At one time the coin collection numbered over 1000 pieces, but it was stolen in 1976 and only about half of it was ever recovered. More recently, the museum has acquired a Greek ship dating to the 6th century BC (discovered in 1988 on the sandy sea bottom off Gela) and three unusual terracotta altars (discovered in 2003 in a 5th-century-BC warehouse that had been buried under 6m of sand).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gela attractions

1. Acropoli

0.08 MILES

Behind Gela's archaeological museum, you can see the scant remains of the city's ancient Greek acropolis. Adding little to the atmosphere are the belching…

2. Greek Baths

1.62 MILES

Some 500m from the city walls, next to the hospital, are Sicily's only surviving Greek baths, which date from the 4th century BC.

3. Greek Fortifications of Capo Soprano

1.95 MILES

Built in 333 BC along Gela's western coastline at Capo Soprano by the tyrant of Syracuse, Timoleon, Gela's ancient Greek fortifications are remarkably…

4. Falconara Beach

12.02 MILES

Falconara's sandy beach stretches west of the Castello di Falconara.

5. Chiesa di San Francesco d'Assisi

18.45 MILES

Caltagirone has an extraordinary number of churches, almost 30 in the historic centre alone. Most are baroque, dating to the building boom of the early…

6. Giardino Pubblico

18.46 MILES

Next to the Museo della Ceramica, the Giardino Pubblico is a lovely place to see out the late afternoon, perhaps with an ice cream or a glass of something…

7. Museo della Ceramica

18.48 MILES

Down from the main historic centre, this museum is the place to learn about the Sicilian ceramics industry. Exhibits, which include Greek terracotta works…

8. Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte

18.54 MILES

Caltagirone's most evocative sight is this monumental staircase, which rises from Piazza Municipio to Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte. Built in the early…