Discover Oristano

Museums and cultural places

Ever since ancient times, the territory where Oristano currently stands has always been suitable for human settlement.

The hinterland, fertile to cultivate and ideal for grazing, its clay-laden subsoil, the many brackish ponds rich and full of fish, its central position and the presence of a natural harbor, allowed early inhabitants of the island to develop a culturally and economically solid society, one that has been living here for millennia now, and is remembered today in the museums and cultural sites of Oristano.

Below you will find several must-see museums to visit during your stay in Oristano.


Antiquarium Arborense Museum

The Antiquarium Arborense archeological museum, housed in the historic Palazzo Parpaglia since 1992, houses a vast archaeological collection of ancient pieces dating back to various eras, ranging from archaeological finds from the local Nuraghi and the city of Tharros, all the way to Spanish crafts from the fifteenth-sixteenth century, with a total wealth of approximately 10,000 cultural and archaeological assets.

The Antiquarium Arborense is one of the few museums in Sardinia fitted with an exhibition section dedicated to the blind and visually impaired.


Museo Antiquarium Arborense Oristano


Arborense Diocesan Museum

The Arborense Diocesan Museum, set up in a building located between the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Seminary, was inaugurated on 2015 for preserving, enhancing and promoting knowledge of the historical-artistic heritage from the Cathedral and other places of worship within the territory.

The Museum is the largest diocesan museum in Sardinia, with 1200 square meters of surface area open for visits. The museum itinerary is developed in 4 exhibition sections, all of them featuring a great variety of liturgical objects, sacred vestments, wooden statues and Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian and Roman archaeological finds concerning Tharros.



The Municipal Art Gallery

The Municipal Art Gallery of Oristano is named after Carlo Contini, the greatest Oristano artist of the twentieth century, and is housed in the ancient Giudicale hospital “Hospitalis Sancti Antoni”, in the street of the same name.

The Pinacoteca is divided into a section dedicated to the artistic collection owned by the Municipality of Oristano, and another one for holding temporary exhibitions. Indeed, the gallery often hosts exhibitions by artists of great international prestige, as well as on some of the most important figures of the Sardinian artistic panorama in the twentieth century, with significant openings towards younger generations.


Pinacoteca Comunale Oristano


The Foro Boario

The corner of via Ricovero and via Marconi is the location of the Foro Boario, a large complex, now renovated, characterized by its austerity and clean lines.

The bull-shaped bas-reliefs that frame the entrance tell us that the livestock exhibition-market, one of the symbols of the arboreal city’s history, was held here until the 1960s. The portal, fitted with tympanum and columns dating back to the Fascist period, is the entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Foro Boario, an exhibition space for modern art in the city where artists from all over the world find space.



Center for Documentation and Study on Sartiglia

The Center for Documentation and Study on Sartiglia deals with research, analysis and study of the most famous equestrian carousel in Sardinia, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the event, its genesis and the transformations it underwent over time.

As of today, its new exhibition area is housed on the ground floor of the elegant Palazzo Sanna in via Eleonora 15. Exhibition panels, also translated in English, accompany tourists and visitors in their journey as they discover the carousel, as they get a full-immersion into the Sartiglia’s history and emotions.


Terracotta Ceramica Oristano



Oristano has centuries and centuries of tradition in the art of ceramics, which is why the city has dedicated a space for getting to know it, study it and enhance it.

The Terracotta – Ceramics Documentation Center, housed on the ground floor of the Hospitalis Sancti Antoni, was born in 2018 for studying and exhibiting sources, both public and private, which tell the creativity and memories of potters, tile makers, ceramists, thus the inspiration and genius, the art and the mastery of Oristano, also known as City of Ceramics. Testing the creative multiformity of clay is the goal of the center, through the development of educational workshops open to adults and young people.