The birth of the historical collections of Benevento – today quite well set up in the complex of Santa Sofia, including the extraordinary cloister of the medieval monastery – is due to the same Prince of Talleyrand, to whom we owe the obelisk in the square. Since the end of the 19th century, the collections had been exhibited at the Rocca dei Rettori, but they have been here for almost a century, gradually being enriched.
These range from the archaeology section, with, among other things, Greek and Samnite vases, Messapian ceramics, metopes depicting circus fights and Roman sarcophagi, to the section on the Middle Ages, which opens with weapons, utensils, jewellery and goldsmiths from the Longobard period and continues with sculptures up to the first phase of Church rule. Particularly noteworthy are some fragments of the 14th-century ambo from the Duomo (cathedral), but the numismatic section (gold coins from the Principality of Benevento, the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal State) and the figurative art works (Baroque religious paintings and landscapes) up to the 20th century (Renato Guttuso, Emilio Greco, Carlo Levi, and Francesco Messina) are also of interest. Upstairs, an installation by Riccardo Dalisi and a splendid view of the cloister of Santa Sofia from above: photo!
For true enthusiasts, there is a Drawings and Prints Cabinet (Salvator Rosa, Luca Giordano, Guercino, Giovanni Battista Piranesi) and a collection of thousands of parchments from the 10th to the 18th century.