Palestrina, situated on the southern face of Mount Ginestro, was one of the first settlements in Latium and has legendary origins. Originally called Preneste, it was a summer destination for emperors and Roman nobles.
At the height of the town you can find the National Archaeological Museum, housed in the Colonna Barberini Palace, built on the site of the ancient Sanctuary to Fortuna Primigenia. A sculptural trio featuring Juno, Minerva and Jupiter, welcomes visitors to the museum. 16 large exhibition rooms are spread over three floors displaying precious artefacts from the excavations of the Sanctuary and nearby necropolis. There are also frescoed ceilings from the 16th and 17th centuries, partially damaged over time, as well as various types of sculpture, theatrical masks, marble reliefs, portraits, inscriptions, funeral items and votive lamps, arranged in an orderly and atmospheric display.
Walking into the museum is like going back in time and it is easy to forget everyday life left at the entrance. It is lovely to know that there are still places in the world that inspire dreams.