The Sperlonga Archaeological Museum is annexed to the area of the famous Villa of Tiberius. It was built in 1963 to house the valuable sculptural remains found in Sperlonga in 1957, during the excavations for the construction of the new Flacca coastal road.
The National Archaeological Museum was designed by the architect Giorgio Zamma to house the monumental marble groups found in the famous cave of Tiberius. It represents a fundamental hub of the Riviera di Ulisse Natural Park.
The Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga, in addition to the visit to the Villa of the Emperor Tiberius, consists of large rooms created for the display of ancient Homeric marbles.
For the moment, four main groups have been identified representing the exploits of Ulysses:
• The assault of Scylla on the ship of Ulysses and the killing of six companions suffocated by the serpentine coils.
• The blindness of the Cyclops Polyphemus by the hero and some companions.
• The Rape of Palladio, by Ulysses and Diomedes, from the Trojan temple of Athena.
• Ulysses lifting the corpse of Achilles.
The sculptures found in the cave of Tiberius, in thousands of fragments, are the result of a long restoration work not yet completed. It is likely that all the groups are the work of three famous sculptors from Rhodes: Atenodoro, Agesandro, and Polydero.
The same people who created the famous Laocoon Group, kept in the Vatican Museums since 1506.
In the Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga you can also see other finds, mostly sculptural, which were part of the villa's ornamental apparatus. Among these, in addition to celebratory works of the Gens Iulia, there are images of divinities, portraits of characters close to Tiberius and mythological subjects.
The cave near the Villa of Tiberius was renovated by the emperor who transformed it into a mythological setting in honor of Odysseus.
The cave was partially transformed with masonry interventions. The entrance to the natural cavity was preceded by a fish pond, a grandiose rectangular basin filled with sea water. The pool communicated with a circular pool located inside the cave. Where was placed the sculptural group representing Scylla attacking the ship of Odysseus.
At the bottom of the indoor pool there was a niche that housed the sculptural group of the Blinding of Polyphemus.