History of the Museum

The Civic Archaeological Museum of the city of Acqui Terme was first set up at the Paleologi castle in 1967 – although its “official” opening was, actually, in 1970 – and it was the result of a long process of site preparation, collection and arrangement of the materials, started since 1962 by scholars of the local branch of the International Institute of Ligurian Studies of Bordighera, supported by a large group of enthusiasts living in Acqui.

This first outfitting initially provided an opening time limited to only two days a week; later, the opportunities to visit the museum exhibition were increased, with periods of seasonal daily opening times and with more articulated schedules, aiming mainly to encourage school groups, in addition to the wider audience of citizens and tourists, to visit the museum.

The two rooms the Museum originally consisted of – increased up to four during the year 1976, when important renovation works and the consolidation of the castle structures were also carried out, leading, among other things, to discover the beautiful seventeenth-century loggia, which, until then, had remained hidden behind walls belonging to a later period – were mainly intended to show the historical and archaeological testimonies of the Roman period, dug-up by the increasingly frequent discoveries made in those years in the ground of the ancient Aquae Statiellae. The main focus was, in particular, on the material evidence of everyday life, with the exhibition of the most important ornamental funerary articles from the necropolis of the city – together with some reconstructions, for educational purposes, of grave structures – of many amphorae, proving craft and commercial activities carried out in the city and found, undamaged, re-used in some plumbing drainage systems in the residential area, as well as of important inscriptions and funerary stones which were, for their monumental feature, one of the main attractions of the Museum itself, and were, in many cases, just then brought back to Acqui, after having been left, for long years, in the storage at the Museum of Antiquities in Turin.

The materials placed in the old fitment are nowadays – together with many finds coming from most recent discoveries – the core of the current exhibition, being the result of a whole renovation completed in 2001 on the initiative of the Municipality of Acqui Terme, with the financial support of Piedmont Region and the scientific project of the Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage of Piedmont.