Marciana Archaeological Museum


Marciana Archaeological Museum


Summer opening hours:
- 10.30-13.00 and 16.00-18.30 (closed Tuesday and Thursday)
- October: 10.30am-1.00pm and 3.00pm-5.30pm (Tuesday and Thursday closed)


Via del Pretorio 40, Marciana, Isola d'Elba (LI)

The Civic Archaeological Museum in Marciana is Elba’s first museum, founded in 1968 and renovated in 2002. Like the other archaeological museums in Portoferraio and Rio nell'Elba, this museum is the result of a collaboration between the University, the Tuscan Archaeological Superintendency and the Town Council. It houses the island's oldest finds, which have their roots in local prehistory.

The Civic Archaeological Museum houses some of the oldest material from Elba’s settlements, dating back to the first phases of the island’s occupation during the Palaeolithic period. The inhabitants of the first settlements on Monte Capanne, dating back to the end of the Bronze Age (13th – 10th century B.C.) were sheep farmers who knew how to spin and weave. Among the exhibits on show from this period are millstones and cereal grinders, kettles and cookers for processing milk, spools, loom weights and spindles. The characteristics of this society are very similar to those of the people of the Apennine culture, linked to the use of mountain hamlets for defence and transhumance.

The three hatchets found in Chiessi in the Gneccarina Valley date back to the Early Iron Age (8th century B.C) when Elba was firmly at the centre of the trade routes between Sardinia, Corsica and the mainland. The inhabitants of this period still preferred to settle on high ground and Monte Capanne was an important centre for controlling the territory.

The discovery of a series of Etruscan tombs buried in the rock on Monte Capanne yielded a variety of objects including Bucchero ceramics, Etruscan and Corinthian pottery, Greek bowls and jewellery. Etruscan burials on Elba adopted several prehistoric traditions which were continued until the 6th century BC. The Etruscans used high caves as burial sites, digging pits which they then filled with sea gravel, thus symbolising their closer relationship with the sea which became an integral part of Elba’s identify.

A further exhibition area is dedicated to the excavations of the Monte Castello di Procchio fortress, and some of the oldest archaeological findings, dating from the 5th century B.C are also on display. This fortress was heavily developed between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., when the Roman threat was looming, but the site seems to have had an earlier origin, as early as the 5th century, when it possibly had a religious function.

Monte Capanne first became famous in Roman times for its granite quarries, which were prized until the Middle Ages. In Seccheto, the Romans hewed granite columns on site and then transported them into important public buildings or the homes of the aristocracy.

Naturally, the exhibition does not fail to emphasise the relationship with the sea, thanks to a section devoted to two shipwrecks found in the Procchio bay. The oldest is a Roman merchant ship of about 20 m long, dating from the second half of the second century AD. It was carrying Gallic, Hispanic and African amphoras containing wine, fish sauce, figs and oil, as well as sulphur bars glass tableware decorated in gold, and an ivory statue originally covered in gold foil, depicting Dionysus and Pan. The second wreck is a French merchant ship from the late 18th century, which was carrying glazed ceramics, slipwear and maiolica, as well as a set of scissors of various sizes.

Not to be missed



Single ticket: 2 €
Cumulative ticket for the Civic Archaeological Museum, the Pisan Fortress and the Numismatic Educational Museum
2 museums: 3 €
3 museums: 4 €

How to get there

The Archaeological Museum is located in the historic centre of Marciana, in an elevated position. It is advisable to park outside the historic centre or arrive by bus and follow the signs to Via del Pretorio to enjoy the suggestive walk through the streets of the medieval village, with its breathtaking views.

To Learn More


  • CAMBI F., CAVARI F., MASCIONE C., 2009, Materiali da costruzione e produzione del ferro. Studi sull’economia populoniese fra periodo etrusco e romanizzazione, Bari.
  • Pagliantini L., 2019, Aithale, l’Isola d’Elba. Territorio, paesaggi, risorse, Bari.
  • Zecchini M. 1982, Relitti romani dell’isola d’Elba, Lucca.
  • Zecchini M. 1968d, Asce di bronzo rinvenute in Valle Gneccarina (Isola d’Elba), ArchAntrEtn., XCVIII

The Museum System in Marciana