Despite its little exhibition setup the Civic Museum of Nepi has important archaeological finds which testify the town history. Some are of extraordinary interest.
One of the most rare archaeological find in the Museum is a bronze item difficult to be understood due to its rarity. It was found in 2003 inside a burial chamber of "Sante Grotte" Necropolis. It is composed by a perforated truncated cone-shaped container with a long hollow handle ending with two elegant swan heads. It is surely an instrument for the practice of the so called "Symposium". Bronze objects of this kind are Etruscan or Roman. Usually next to the jars there were also ladles, strainers and funnels. All these items were used to pour and filter wine. As it tasted acidulous, honey and other essences were added at that time. Due to the stretched shape and the perforated tank it is possible to think it was an old kind of infuser used to add several essences to the wine. As no other kind of this item was found with this particular shape it is not possible to correctly date it (maybe 6th or 5th century b.C. according to other items found in the burial room) and this makes this infuser even more singular.
Octavianus Augustus Head
The most prestigious artwork belonging to the Roman phase of ancient Nepet is the Emperor Augustus' marble head. The sculpture was probably part of a statue dressed with toga, as shown by the graft base with the hole for the joint nail and the clean cut of the veil at the height of the neck. Its origins are unknown, but it was probably part of a statue located inside an important public city building. Augustus became "Pontifex Maximus" in 12 b.C., but few years earlier a type of celebratory portrait had begun to spread that portrays him as a sacrificer. The clothing, consisting of a toga and a veil that covers the head, should not therefore be interpreted as a reference to the role of "Pontifex Maximus", but rather has the purpose of presenting the image of Augustus enhancing his moral virtue, called "pietas" by the Romans, or devotion towards roman Gods. The head, for a long time placed under the portico of the Municipal Palace of Nepi, was stolen in the early 70s of the last century and recovered only in 2016.
Lucrezia Borgia's Emblem
In October 1499 Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, donated the city of Nepi with its territory to his daughter Lucrezia. At the time she was already married with Alfonso of Aragon, Duke of Bisceglie. The following year Alfonso was assassinated and Lucrezia retired, to spend a period of mourning, inside Nepi's Castle. At the beginning of 1501, returned to Rome, she was married to Alfonso d'Este and left Nepi for Ferrara where she lived until her death. About her period in Nepi, an important and rare testimony is a marble coat of arms with Borgia family's insignia combined with those of Aragones of Naples. This emblem was found inside the Borgia's Castle, and taken in the 19th century to be walled under the portico of the Town Hall. In 1980s it became part of the collection of the first municipal antiquarium, then of the Civic Museum of Nepi.