Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the Town of Cortona
Within the city walls, those loving archaeology cannot miss to visit the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the Town of Cortona (MAEC), on Piazza Signorelli.
Since 2005 the MAEC-Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the Town of Cortona- is divided into two main theme sections that make it an original tourist attraction: the topographic section and the section showing the Academy collections.
The first one, better known as Section of the Etruscan and Roman town of Cortona, gathers extraordinary archaeological finds, brought to light during recent excavations in the Cortona area, which are evidence of the ancient history of this town: a very important topographic part explains the history of Cortona and its territory during the Etruscan and Roman times (the section of the Etruscan and Roman town of Cortona, indeed), where significant objects coming from the grave goods of the burial mounds in Sodo and Camucia are on display as well as, as an example, the renowned Tabula Cortonensis, a document written in Etruscan dating back to the 2nd century B.C.; thanks to these remarkable finds the MAEC Museum is considered one of the most important museums in Tuscany.
Then there is the real Museum of the Etruscan Academy, the museum in the museum, the oldest, richest and most heterogeneous section of the whole museum complex, which has been progressively increasing over the centuries since 1727 thanks to the private collections of Academy members. Established by the will of some erudite noblemen of Cortona, the museum preserves works of art of different type and period: it hosts an Egyptian section, a historic-artistic section with Tuscan paintings from the 14th to the 20th century (among which we find works by Signorelli, Pietro of Cortona, Severini), 18th century furnishings and medals in addition to a substantial archaeological section, whose most important piece is the famous Etruscan bronze lamp, the one of its kind. Other remarkable symbols of this museum are the Muse Polyhymnia, the tondo by Luca Signorelli, the Ginori Temple, the Motherhood by Gino Severini.
The MAEC Museum is open from 1st April to 31st October every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; from 1st November to 31st March Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It only closes on 25th December at Christmas. Paid admission, partially accessible to disabled people, guided visits and educational activities available upon request.