The MAFRA, Archaeological Museum of Francavilla di Sicilia, in the heart of the Alcantara Valley, occupies some rooms of the historic Palazzo Cagnone, a 16th-century building, within the medieval quarter, at the foot of the hill dominated by the Norman Castle. The exhibition itinerary, preceded by an introductory video at the entrance to the Museum, develops in the three rooms on the first floor.
The first room is dedicated to the protohistoric period: display cases and didactic apparatus document the existence of a Sicilian settlement, dating back to the late Bronze Age (13th-12th century BC). The second room is dedicated to the Greek city founded by the Calcidesi of Naxos who went up the Alcantara river already during the seventh century BC. in search of arable land, now hidden from the modern town, with the exception of a usable area in Contrada Fantarilli. The excavations have brought to light some remains of the town that document, between destruction and reconstruction, a continuity of settlement from the 6th to the 3rd century BC. (VI-V century BC; from 476 BC to the end of the V-early IV century BC; IV-III century BC). The numerous exhibits on display narrate the daily life of the ancient Greeks: of houses with tiled roofs decorated with antefixes with gorgon or silenus heads; of women dedicated to weaving; of tableware for storing foodstuffs, or used for drinking and eating, to light up the night; of commercial contacts (coins). The third room is dedicated to the suburban sanctuary of the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone, one of the most important sacred complexes in Greek Sicily, due to the wealth of votive deposits (pinakes, protomes, terracotta statuettes). In this room are also exhibited the finds from the necropolis of the fifth century BC. The tour ends in the immersive room with a virtual journey back into the past of ancient Francavilla.