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Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri

Locri

The museum

The ancient city of Epizephyrian Locris, overlooking the Ionian Sea and founded in the 7th century BC by Greeks from Locris, stands in the territory of Reggio Calabria, rich in archaeological evidence from prehistory to the Byzantine age.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri

Epizephyrian Locris is one of the most important colonies of Magna Graecia. An active commercial centre in the Mediterranean, the city is also remembered for its landscape and for its flourishing culture, attested by archaeological evidence. Some musical instruments, for example, highlight the Locrians’ love of music, also narrated by the poet Pindar.

The archaeological site reconstructs the history of the colony during the VI-III centuries BC up to the transformations during the Roman age.

The visit to the archaeological area unfolds between public and private structures. The following areas are particularly important:

  • the residential-artisanal district of Centocamere,
  • the so-called Stoà, a U-shaped porticoed structure,
  • the theatre (IV century BC), which also underwent interventions in Roman times.

The many sacred areas, dedicated to Demeter, to Zeus the Thunderer, that of Marasà and the Casa dei Leoni (House of the Lions) with the sacellum dedicated to Aphrodite, offer a vivid image of the cults practiced by the inhabitants of Locri. The central area of the site tells us about Roman Locri, which became a municipium in 89 BC, when the city built new public buildings, including the Forum and a thermal complex.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri 6

Inside the Park there is the Museo archeologico nazionale (National Archaeological Museum), which also houses the Museo dei Ragazzi (a parallel exhibition dedicated to children) and the Casino Macrì. Moreover, in the town centre of Locri, it is possible to visit the Museo di Palazzo Nieddu del Rio, which exhibits the remains of the pre-protohistoric age. The grave goods displayed here document the indigenous presence from the 9th century BC to the age when the colony was founded.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri 4

The Museum of the Magna Graecia polis

The National Archaeological Museum documents the productions of Locrian craftsmen with significant artefacts such as the pinakes (votive tablets), the terracotta offerings to the gods, the bronze mirrors and the tablets from the Archivio di Zeus Olimpio (Archive of Olympian Zeus).

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri 1

Ceramic productions from different areas of the Greek and insular world are also exhibited, evidence of the intense commercial exchanges of Locri.
The exhibition is completed by architectural elements recovered from the buildings of the city.

The pinakes

At the beginning of the twentieth century, in Mannella, immediately outside the city walls, Paolo Orsi identifies the Persephoneion, a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Persephone, already mentioned by the historian Livy. The pinakes, small polychrome terracotta votive tablets offered by the faithful, which depict scenes linked to the myth of the goddess, come from this area.

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The pinakes were manufactured by Locrian artisans during the first half of the fifth century BC, with the use of matrices (81 different ones were found), and decorated with vivid colours. Archaeologists have recovered and classified thousands, distinguishing them in ten groups according to the scene they depict.

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The Casino Macrì museum complex

Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the princes of Carafa di Roccella built a two-storey traditional farmhouse flanked by two small farm-type houses on the walls of a thermal building, dated between the I and II century AD, now transformed into a multifunctional exhibition centre.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri - casino macri

The lack of some functional elements of the thermal plants, such as the raised floors for positioning the suspensurae (small square-based pillars) or the finishes, has led archaeologists to hypothesise that the building was never completed, for reasons still unknown.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri - terme casino macri

On the second floor of the main building it is possible to visit the museum dedicated to the Roman Age and to Late Antiquity, which tells the story of Locri and of the area of Locris which became part of the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century AD.

The portrait statue of the Togatus

The portrait statue of the Togatus, dated to the II century AD, was found in a small public building in the central area of the Roman city, which fell into disuse between the 5th and the 6th century AD.

Museo e Parco archeologico nazionale di Locri - togato
Made of extraordinary marble from the town of Luni, the sculpture depicts an authoritative male character of the municipium of Locri with the toga, the traditional dress of Roman citizens during peacetime, wearing the calcei patricii, shoes consisting of five strips of leather knotted together, on his feet.

The statue, intentionally broken into three parts, is matched with a portrait head carved from a single block of white marble, the work of an artist linked to Rome’s artistic-cultural environment. In Roman times, the heads which depicted the person for whom the work was intended were carved separately and subsequently placed on the statues which were “mass” produced.

The National archaeological Park of Locri, one of the largest in Calabria, is located along the road SS 106 "Jonica" at 5 km from the modern city of Locri, on the site of the Magna Graecia colony of Lokroi Epizephyroi.The park consists of two exhibition realities: the National archaeological Museum, inaugurated in the 1971 under the name of "Antiquarium di Locri" and declared a national museum in 1998, and the Casino Macrì museum complex, that display the testimonies referable to the Roman and late-ancient age.The protohistoric age of the Locride is documented in the "Museum of the territory" of Palazzo Teotino Nieddu del Rio, in the center of Locri, inaugurated in 2018.Four visit itineraries are offered to the public.The first one starts from the Museum of the Greek polis and crosses the eastern and northern areas presenting sections of the walls, two defensive towers, one access gates of the city, the shrine of Tesmophorion and the sacred area of Marasà.The second path leads the visitor to the southern sector, where there are the sacred area dedicated to Zeus dazzles, the Porta Portuense with a mighty wall structure, further sections of the walls, the House of the Lions with the Shrine dedicated to Aphrodite and the Door of Aphrodite, the residential and handicraft district of the Centocamere locality and the so-called U-shaped Stoà. A third route starts from the Centocamere district and reaches the Petrara area, with the remains of the probable Forum and a thermal building.In the area there is the Casino Macrì Museum Complex, which consists of a nineteenth-century farmhouse and two colonial buildings. On the second floor of the main building the museum of Roman Locri has been set up. Among the exhibited artefacts, it is worth mentioning the beautiful marble statue-portrait of the “Togato” from the forum area, the Tub of Aleppo, one of the few examples of large artefacts made with a rare marble from the island of Chios, and the golden bract with the Adoration of the Magi belonging to a reliquary from the 7th century AD.The last itinerary leads the visitor to Dromo, with a fragmented part of the city wall, and to Pirettina, where the Greek-Roman Theatre is located.Particular attention is paid to younger visitors with the Children's Museum, encouraging the use of the historical and archaeological heritage of Locri.

Address

Strada Statale 106 Jonica - Contrada Masarà
89044 Locri

Timetables

Wednesday - Sunday 9.00-20.00, last entry 19.00

Situazione Emergenziale Aperture :

Aperture Attive

Information

musei.calabria.beniculturali.it/
drm-cal.locri@beniculturali.it
Ph: +39 0964 390023
Closure: Monday-Tuesday
Full: 5,00 €; 6.00 € including Museo di Palazzo Nieddu del Rio
Reduced: 2,00 €