Archaeological Museum of Santa Scolastica

Museum in Bari

Convento Di Santa Scolastica, Via Venezia 73 Bari, Actual Museu Arqueològic
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Enric

The Archaeological Museum of Santa Scolastica, formerly known as the Archaeological Museum of Bari or the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Bari, is situated in the city of Bari. The museum’s collection features artifacts and findings from the region’s indigenous civilizations, such as the Daunia, Messapia, and Peucezia, spanning periods from prehistory to the Bronze Age. It also includes jewelry from the Greek, Byzantine, Arab-Norman, and medieval periods.


Established in 1875 with a modest collection of artifacts gathered by Professor Nitto De Rossi, the museum officially opened to the public on May 18, 1890, in the Ateneo building, which also housed the university until 1925. The museum remained in this location until 2000.

Initially managed by the Commission of Archaeology and Homeland History, the museum’s collection grew over time thanks to private donations, acquisitions, and excavations in various parts of Puglia. Under the leadership of Maximilian Mayer (1894-1903) and Michele Gervasio (1909-1957), the museum expanded its inventory, conducted specialized studies, and carried out significant excavation campaigns.

Notable acquisitions from the early 1900s include the Varrese tomb finds from Canosa di Puglia, the Polese collection, and the Maselli coin collection. In 1957, the museum’s management transferred from the provincial administration to the state, overseen by the Superintendence of Antiquities of Puglia and Matera, to manage finds from excavation campaigns in the province of Bari. Excavations in Monte Sannace and Conversano in 1957 and 1958, and later discoveries in the 1970s and 1980s in areas like Acquaviva delle Fonti, Canosa di Puglia, Rutigliano, Conversano, and Turi, enriched the museum’s collection.

In 1985, the Santa Scolastica complex was entrusted to the University of Bari under an agreement with the Puglia Region to establish a Documentation Center for the Cultural Heritage of Puglia. The museum closed for renovations between 1994 and 2000. In 2001, management reverted to the province of Bari, and the collections were moved to the ancient monastery of Santa Scolastica, integrated into a bastion of the city walls in the heart of the old city.

Recent Developments

In 2010, after extensive administrative procedures, restoration and functional arrangements for the former monastery began, including the recovery of the nearby archaeological area of San Pietro. Funded by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Puglia Region, the works concluded in 2018, and the first rooms of the newly renovated museum complex reopened to the public.

The Archaeological Museum of Santa Scolastica appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Bari!

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Visiting Archaeological Museum of Santa Scolastica


Tuesday to Saturday 09.00 – 19.00

Sunday and holidays 09.00 – 13.00

Monday closed



Address: Chiesa rettoria di Santa Scolastica da Norcia, Strada Annunziata, Bari, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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