Image 0 - Archaeological and civic museum
Image 1 - Archaeological and civic museum
Image 2 - Archaeological and civic museum
Image 3 - Archaeological and civic museum

Archaeological and civic museum

Located in the medieval Visconti Castle, where the confederate bailiffs had their base from 1513 to 1798, the town’s Archaeological Museum displays local finds dating from the Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages.

Further there is a collection of beautiful Roman glassware and ceramics discovered in the Canton Ticino. History teaches us that craftsmen and merchants, having established strong trading relationships with the main business centers of ancient Rome, lived in settlements along the Verbano lakeside between the 1st – 4th centuries AD. The collection presented in the exhibition halls of the museum, redecorated in 1988, comprises approximately 200 items placed in chronological order and assembled following the context of the finds. The value of the collection is defined by the high number of items and by the excellent state of conservation of the glass as well as the many varieties of shapes.

Adjacent to the section which is dedicated to the Roman glass finds (two halls) there are five halls reserved for the documentation of the prehistoric Locarno times (XIII-I. centuries B.C.) to the Roman art (XI-XII centuries AD.) and also the collection of Apulian vases (VII-V centuries B.C.), donated to the town of Locarno by Carlo Rossi.

Documents on the Locarno Peace Treaty in 1925 are to be found in the municipal section of the museum as well as costumes from the 18th century and Nymphenburg Porcelain.

The permanent exhibitionLocarno città della Riforma. Dall’esilio dei protestanti alla costruzione della tolleranza” (Locarno, city of the Reformation. From the Protestants’ exile to the setting up of tolerance.) is open to the public from September 16th 2017.

The exhibition fits in with the Reformation summer events in remembrance of Martin Luther’s billposting of his theses 500 years ago. Because of its unique history, Locarno has been recognized as one of the Reformation Cities.

The castle complex also includes the Palazzo Casorella, a building constructed between 1575 and 1593. Here the stucco on the loggias (1596-1605), opening onto the inner courtyard, are of great artistic interest as is the reception hall decorated by the painter G.A. Caldelli (1787) and with the large canvas depicting the Judgement of Paris by Giuseppe Antonio Felice Orelli (1773).


  • adults CHF 7.00
  • children, students and AVS/AHV CHF 5.00
  • groups (min. 10 people) CHF 5.00
  • App my Ascona-Locarno: 20% discount
  • students til 16 years, Raiffeisen Card, Museum Pass, Tessera domiciliati Locarno: free entry 

Guided tours possible with advanced reservation (min. 10 persons): CHF 100.00 + 5.00 p.p.

Opening hours:
Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00h - 12.00h / 14.00h - 17.00h
Monday: closed

Opening period: from March/April to the end of October 2019.


  • VENUES Suitable for families
  • MUSEUMS Ethnographic museums , History museums