The museum is located in Chieti in an elegant neoclassical villa , designed by the Neapolitan architect Errico Riccio at the behest of Baron Ferrante Frigerj in 1830 .
The building dominates a small hill, originally agricultural land owned by the Frigerj family located outside the city walls, a short distance from Porta S. Andrea, the southern entrance to the city, which now no longer exists. From the top of the hill you can enjoy a breathtaking view and you can admire both the municipal villa with the profile of the buildings of the historic center and the majestic Majella mountain massif with the valley below.
In 1864 the property became municipal property and was a school site. In 1959 , thanks to the interest of the then archaeologist superintendent Valerio Cianfarani , it became a national archaeological museum and since 2014 it has been assigned to the Abruzzo Museum Centre.
Outside, the visitor can observe the cladding of the facades, in smooth ashlar bricks on the ground floor and in simple bricks on the remaining levels. The main facade, facing the city, is crowned by a small temple. Inside, the most important archaeological collection of Abruzzo is on display, accessible through the new museum itinerary, set up in 2011 and expanded in 2014 following exhibition criteria that favor the ethnic and topographical aspects of the ancient populations of the region. On the ground floor the visitor will be able to delve into the themes linked to ancient statuary and, in particular, will be able to contemplate the famous Warrior of Capestrano , an artistic masterpiece from the 6th century BC, to which the "Beyond Time" room is dedicated. The layout of the room was curated by the artist Mimmo Palladino, who states: “I almost wanted to purify the Warrior of the meaning that determines it historically and dates it. Anyone who looks at it must draw suggestions from it that go beyond its chronological location ." On the ground floor there is also a rich numismatic section and the nineteenth-century Pansa collection , with heterogeneous objects.
On the first floor are presented the finds found in the most important archaeological contexts of Abruzzo dating back to the proto-historic and early medieval phases - especially necropolises and sanctuaries - and the visitor will therefore be able to discover the material culture of the Vestini , the Peligni , the Marrucini and the Carricini . Through the monumental staircase you return to the ground floor and continue your visit to discover the ancient peoples of Abruzzo by observing the artefacts of the Sabines , the Frentani , the Equi and the Marsi .