Museo Faggiano


Useful Information

Location: Via Ascanio Grandi, 56, 73100 Lecce.
(40.350117, 18.172360)
Open: All year daily 9:30-20.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children (8-16) EUR 3, Children (0-7) free.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaUnderground Museums
Light: electric
Dimension:
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Museo Faggiano, Via Ascanio Grandi, 56 - 73100 Lecce, Tel: +39-0832-300528, Cell: +39-360722448. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1000 home of the Templars.
1200 Convent of Franciscan Nuns of Saint Clare's order.
2001 Luciano Faggiano discovers the first archaeologic remains.
APR-2008 opened to the public.

Description

Museo Faggiano (Faggiano Museum) is an archaeological museum of the area from the Messapi, 5zh century BC, Romans, Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It is located underground, below a private building, where remains were discovered, excavated and finally presented to the public. The building is owned by Luciano Faggiano, and in 2001 he had problems with the sewage pipes, which were broken and sewage water leaked. So he went into the basement and dug them up to replace them. But while he was digging, he removed stuff which was not simply rocks and soil. He found artifacts, and immediately became hooked by the idea to excavate them. He and his three sons Marco, Andrea and Davide did all the excavation work and financed the whole venture. Of course they were under the supervision of the Archaeological Superintendence of Taranto, but Italy is full of archaeological sites and the archaeologists were quite happy that he did all the work.

The excavations made the house an archaeological site, and when it was completed after seven years, he opened it as a private museum. Luciano Faggiano founded the Cultural Association "Idume" which operates the museum. And as the discoveries were so exceptional, the museum actually covers two thousand years since pre-Roman times. The exhibits show the most impressive of 5,000 artifacts which were discovered. The architectural discoveries include tombs, a granary, cisterns, hypogaea, a well, templar frescos, an ossuary, and underground escape ways.

The oldest remains are the foundations of the pre-Roman Messapi. They dug holes into the ground for wooden beams. The bell shaped cavern was used as a cistern, another one was a Medieval granary, it was filled with grain, which was safe from pests. The hypogaea were used to bury dead people, the ossuary was used to store bones which did not decompose in the hypogaea, when the space was needed for the next corpse.