Museum of PITHECUSAE is situated in Lacco Ameno, Ischia, in the main
building of the structure of Villa Arbusto, built by Don Carlo Acquaviva,
duke of Atri, in 1785, just where the "estate of the Arbosto"
was once. This property became the summer-residence of the publisher
A. Rizzoli in 1952 and it was later bought by the Municipality of
Lacco Ameno in order to become the archaeological Museum, which explains
the history of the island of Ischia from the prehistory to the Roman
The structure of Arbusto comprehends a wonderful park too, full of
several varieties of plants and it has a fantastic sight.
The archaeological finds of the Grecian settlement of Pithecusae,
founded by Greeks of the island of Euboea, in the second fourth of
the VIIIth century B. C., are particularly numerous and very important.
These materials were discovered thanks to the excavations carried
out in Ischia by G. Buchner since 1952; they testify the very wide
deal of commercial relationships which Pithekoussans developed with
the Near East and Carthage, Greece and Spain, Apulia, Ionic Calabria
The San Montano valley was used as a necropolis for about thousand
years since the second half of the VIIIth century B. C.; the most
famous vases of Pithecusae, like the local lategeometrical bowl decorated
with a scene of a shipwreck and the well-known Cup
from Rhodes, on which one epigramm of three verses in Euboic alphabet
was written with reference to the famous Nestors cup, which is described
in the Iliad, come from there. We must remember, in fact, that the
alphabet represents one of the most important elements of the heritage
of know-ledge which the population of Central Italy received from
the Greeks of Pithecusae, first Greek settlement on the coasts of
A progressive decline of the importance of Pithecusae occurred because
of the political and economic development of Cumae, founded by the
Greeks of Chalcis and eretria ont he mainland since the beginning
of the VIIth century B. C. The architectronic terracotta fragments
prove the existence of temples on the Acropolis of Monte Vico, from
where a great amount of the table-ceramics, called "Campana A",
which was produced in the Ellenistic Age in Ischia and exported to
Africa, Spain and South France, comes many.
During the Roman Age the island, which assumed the name Aenaria, was
struk by vulcanic eruptions, therefore the Romans who settled there,
were not so numerous as those who settled, for example, near the Phlegraei
Fields. The main heritage of this time are marble votive reliefs of
the temple of the Nymphes situated in Nitrodi (Barano) and the lead
and tin bars of the submerged foundry in Carta Romana (Ischia).