The newly opened museum is housed in the splendid architectural setting of the Sforza Castle of Soncino. Established in order to ensure an adequate place to preserve rich collection that has formed over the years thanks to the local Archaeological Group and investigations carried out by the Archaeological Superintendency of Lombardy, it has a strong territorial vocation. The current assets of the museum amount to several hundreds of finds presented along a chronological and thematic route divided into different sections, from prehistoric times to the late seventeenth century. The choice of venue is particularly suitable, given the characteristics of the building, its structural layout and its place as a historical landmark of the town.

There is a fine section on the Second Iron Age, with splendid Celtic funerary objects from the mid-third century BC. The latest phase of the same period is represented by the tombs of Isengo, of the end of the second and mid-first centuries BC, which bear witness to cultural contacts among the already settled Celtic populations and new settlers arriving after the conquest of Cisapline Gaul by the Romans. Romanization is evident in the Isengo funerary objects from the merely ornamental weapons used for ritual purposes and typically Celtic elements combined with entirely Roman objects. Of particular note is the case of tomb number 6, possibly of a child, which is distinguished by the juxtaposition of traditional Celtic warrior weapons, female ornaments and a scaled-down ceramic decorative item.

The Roman age is documented by numerous finds from the Bosco Vecchio area in Gallignano, one of the few sites continuously inhabited from Prehistory to the Roman age in the Province of Cremona. The existence of a rural villa with ancillary facilities for the manufacture of building materials, such as floor tiles, bricks and roof tiles, is confirmed by the numerous impressed production marks such as F.P.Q., Q.DELLI, Q.VAL, Q.V.H. and AVLI SALVI.

It is reasonable to assume that the furnaces of Bosco Vecchio produced ceramic materials too. Several fragments have been found there of a vascular shape as yet unknown elsewhere in the world of ceramic forms from the Roman era. Such fragments have thus been categorized as ‘Gallignano type flat-tray’ items. Everyday objects, ornaments and household items testify to a high standard of living. The settlement, not yet investigated at length, appears to have been active from the mid-first century BC until the second century AD, when there occurred a general abandonment of the area.

The tour ends with a room dedicated to the Sforza Castle and hamlet. There is a rich selection of Renaissance ceramics recovered during the clearing and cleaning of wall ramparts and tunnels branching off towards the hamlet. The repertoire of pottery forms and decorations is very broad and includes artefacts attributable to a time span of three centuries, from the middle of the fifteenth century until the late seventeenth century. Depictions range from simple geometric and floral motifs to more complex figurative, amorously themed scenes and political or religious symbols, such as ‘IHS’, which hide complex symbolic meanings difficult to decipher. There are even some individual bowls with the engraved initials of their owners.

Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm.

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays:
Winter timetable (November to March) from 10 am to 12 pm and 2:30 pm to 5 pm.
Summer timetable (April to October) from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 7 pm.

Closed: Mondays

Admission: Castle entry fee

Educational activities: Guided tours and educational workshops by reservation - Tel. (+39) 0374 83188

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