The Museum opened in 1991 and was extended and renovated in 2000. It currently consists of twelve rooms located on two floors, adjacent to the city’s cathedral, in Piazza Gabriotti.
Room I contains one of the most important archaeological finds in recent centuries: the tesoro di Canoscio (treasure of Canoscio). It is a collection of 25 objects used for the Eucharistic liturgy, found by chance in 1935 at the Canoscio sanctuary near Città di Castello during ploughing work. As well as containing a large number of objects (chalices, pyxides, crucibles, patens, plates and spoons), the collection is very important because it is a unique example of sacred archaeology dating back to the 5th-6th century.
Sala II displays two jewellery masterpieces: the Paliotto, a hanging in embossed silver that was donated to the city in 1142 by Pope Celestino II – whose family was from Città di Castello – to decorate the Cathedral’s altar, and the Riccio di Pastorale (Shepherd’s Crook), attributed to the Siena-born goldsmith Goro di Gregorio. It is attributed to the 14th century and is also made of embossed silver with figures of enamelled and translucent saints.
Sala III contains a dozen display cases containing liturgical objects that illustrate the historical evolution of the Christian liturgy from the 8th to the 19th century.
Finally, in the beautiful Salone Gotico, a gallery brings together local artists such as Giovanni Battista and Francesco da Tiferno and two masterpieces of Italian painting: Cristo in Gloria (Christ in Glory), oil on wood, created by Rosso Fiorentino between 1528-30 and Madonna col Bambino e San Giovannino (Madonna with Child and Saint Giovannino), tempera on wood, painted by Pinturicchio at the end of the 15th century.
The second floor holds extremely important archival documents: a Parchment by Emperor Federico Barbarossa and an 11th-century Parchment Codex containing the Rule of St. Augustine. The exhibition concludes with the funeral plaque of Alessandro Vitelli, made of lead, dated 1554.
It is useful to know that, thanks to the ECCLESIA CARD project, the purchase of a ticket for one of the museums provides access to all the diocesan museums in Umbria at a discounted price.