The Chapter Museum of Atri was founded in 1912 thanks to Mons. Raffaele Tini. It is on the upper floor of a fourteenth century benedictine cloister which was later used as a canons' residence in the sixteenth century. It has been restored at different times and it has been run from the Coop. Polis of Atri since 1996. It is made up of nine rooms with eight sections, each one containing works of different kind, most coming from the Cathedral and other Churches in Atri.
In the first and second room the walnut wardrobes by Carlo Riccione stand out. In the past they were in the old Cathedral sacresty while in the central showcases we can admire precious illuminated manuscripts and incunabula as well as a large choice of liturgical vestments in baroque and rococo style (XVI-XVIII century). Moreover, a silver embroidered red carpet is also noteworthy; it was a gift by the Queen of England to Cardinal Troiano Acquaviva in 1732.
The other three rooms house the picture-gallery (XIV-XIX century): boards, paintings, wooden statues, triptych of friulan-venetian school dating back to the XVI° century and a poliptych with the Virgin with her Child and Saints (end of the fifteenth century).
Pottery (XVI - XX century) can be admired in the sixth room with one hundred pieces given by Vincenzo Bindi, as well as other works by the great families of Castelli potters; there is also a Virgin with her Child ascribed to Luca della Robbia; a little corner room houses some terracottas (XIII-XVIII century).
The last two rooms are dedicated to the sacred silverware with several precious pieces dating back to the end of the first half of the XX° century, such as a rock crystal cross (Venetian School of the XIII° century), and to the Tommaso Illuminati's collection of twentieth century, wooden works, bronze statues and terracottas.
If you visit the Museum, you can also visit the two outside floors of the Cloister, along which there are stony roman archaeological findings; the lower floor in the middle is occupied by a sixteenth century ortogonal well and a large cistern of Roman Republican age which was later turned into a Kind of catch basin of the dirty waters coming from the upper thermal baths. This room has probably been used as a sacred building for celebrating Mass since X-XI century.
Traduzione di Claudia Nespoli