A marble bust by
an unknown artist represents
the comet and was part of
a set of four busts
(moon, sun and star) placed
around the well in the courtyard
of the Palazzo.

THE EXHIBITION ITINERARY

The Duke’s Rooms

The section of the museum called “the Duke’s rooms” completes and enriches the visit to the building, illustrating the history of the most important civic building in Sassari and life as it went on within in the first half of the 1800s. The display is spread out over three interconnecting rooms, which may be entered from the main hall of the Palace. The itinerary is evocative and inspiring, and it aims to re-enact the organisation and function of the rooms in the Duke’s era. The first room is dedicated to the history of the area in which the Palace was built: the excavations in the nearby Piazza Santa Caterina have revealed the remains of dwellings from the 15th-16th century. Amongst the most important finds are several bowls in Sassari maiolica ceramic, and polychrome maiolica of the same period from elsewhere in Italy. The last two rooms are dedicated to the residences of the Manca family, from Palazzo d’Usini to Palazzo Ducale, by way of objects that illustrate everyday life within their walls: dinner sets of various types; pots and pans from the kitchen; containers from the pantry; containers for pharmaceuticals and toiletries, as well as curiosities, such as two pistols. The finds also tell us something of the cultural and commercial contacts of the period, with ceramics from Italy (above all Liguria and Naples), Provence, Switzerland and England.
Detail of the Duke’s Cellars

The Duke’s Cellars

Excavations have revealed five cellar rooms beneath the floors of the Palace. These probably belonged to buildings from the 1500s which were knocked down to make place for the building of the first noble residence of the Mancas, and were successively reused in the new Palace built by the Duke of Asinara. The itinerary passes along a catwalk suspended above the cellars of the palace, the unusual architecture of which makes the place evocative and capable of arousing great emotion. The itinerary goes through the underground rooms, cisterns, wells and ancient sewage tanks, and is enriched with panels, drawings and multimedia displays.