Palazzo De Mari is the result of a series of transformations that completely changed the original Norman fortress dating back to the XI century. In fact, it became a fortified manor house and finally the home of the Town Hall.
The museum tour takes place Inside this prestigious container, which is also part of the story we narrate. The visit is divided into 4 thematic sections each linked to a site in the territory of Acquaviva delle Fonti, with a special relevance to its history.

The Tour

The tour takes the visitor through the four main themes of the history and culture of central Apulia, which are exhibited in as many sections:

Prehistory and Protohistory.
This section shows the collection of artefacts of lithic manufacturing and some items of prehistorical art coming from the site of Curtomartino. It displays the story of the excavations and the results collected regarding the most ancient phases of the population of Acquaviva territory and the human settlements during the Palaeolithic age.

Bronze age/peucetian age
This section is the very heart of the museum collection: there are more than 100 artefacts on display coming from a Salento settlement. This section tells the long story of this settlement from the pre-roman to the modern age farmhouse: the peucetian culture, the organization of the territory and the settlement between V and the IV century the funeral rites and the society, the evolution of the housing structures.

The roman age, late antiquity period and the High Middle ages
This section displays a selection of artefacts from the excavation of a roman villa in the village of Malano. It describes the features of the landscape and the human settlements during the roman age: the spatial planning, the transformations in administration and settlements, arts, crafts and trading.

Middle ages and modern times
This section displays some sculptural artefacts dating back to the middle ages, found in several buildings scattered in the territory. By describing the building phases of Palazzo de Mari this section illustrates the transformations of the town of Acquaviva through the centuries.


Along the exhibition tour there are six multimedia touch screens where interactive contents can be found, these were created using digital storytelling techniques and are presented in a simple and catching style.

The display of these contents, made giving specific attention to creativity, is based on the episodes logic. this consists of short narrative elements strictly linked to each single theme of the museum that leads a bigger audience towards sectors of knowledge usually specific and sectorial. These contents offer a cultural message which is both reliable and scientifically solid.

The narrative episodes are devoted to different themes of the exhibition. However, they touch upon other cross-sectional themes such as history, the function of certain objects and the importance of water and other natural resources in the history of civilization.


Strictly linked to the Archaeological Museum delle Fonti we have the immersive laboratory created in the site of the old Chemists’ at floor level in the north wing of Palazzo De Mari.

The laboratory offers a virtual totalizing experience, where the audience is immersed in an interactive and changeable setting. The geologic and hydro-geologic history, ancient crafts linked to earth and water, rural architectures and typical agricultural products of this territory are narrated by a virtual guide in an ancient costume and the help of several videos, graphic images, blueprints and historical pictures.