Etruscan Spina and the City of Milan

Piano Nobile


Fondazione Luigi Rovati, in collaboration with the City of Milan and Civico Museo Archeologico of Milan (Civic Archeological Museum), is hosting the exhibition “Etruscan Spina and the City of Milan”, as part of the national centenary celebrations of the beginning of the excavation of the Etruscan city of Spina. The exhibition displays a selection of Attic red-figure vases coming from the Civico Museo Archeologico’s archives; dating back to the 5th century B.C., the vases are a testament to the richness and variety of the grave goods unearthed from thousands of tombs.


The exhibition is part of a joint project between Fondazione Luigi Rovati and Museo Civico Archeologico, which is also hosting its own display of other archeological finds discovered in Spina, together with an in-depth look at the city of Milan’s contribution to the excavations, proof of the great interest of the city in the Etruscan world.


A trading port on the Po river delta with a prominent role in the Adriatic Sea, Spina was founded by the Etruscans in 540 B.C. and for a long time it was considered the gateway to the Mediterranean for the whole Etruscan-Paduan area.


The five Attic vases on display in the Art Museum of Fondazione Rovati are two column-kraters, a trilobal Oinochoe, a bell-krater and an Askos. Painted with red-figure technique and dating back to the 5th century B.C., they were found in the city’s necropolis and are a testament to the fundamental role played by Spina in the trade with Greece. They were brought to Museo Civico Archeologico of Milan in July 1957, together with a larger lot made of twenty-six ceramic artifacts, as a result of a collaboration between the City of Milan, Ente Pro Spina (Organization for Spina) and the Ministry of Education, which at the time had authority over the Cultural Heritage, now controlled by the Ministry of Culture. To support the archeological study of the area and hinder illegal excavations, the City of Milan allocated a fund of 5 million italian lira, and as a consequence received from the Ministry a batch of vases coming from several seizures of smuggled goods made by the Guardia di Finanza (Finance Police). These events prove the bond between Milan and the Etruscans, in line with an interest cultivated by the city since the Risorgimento and which has grown steadily after the Second World War.


Etruscan Spina and the City of Milan

In collaboration with City of Milan and Civico Museo Archeologico of Milan

Fondazione Luigi Rovati - Piano Nobile

Corso Venezia 52, Milan

1 February - 5 March 2023