Museo Diocesano di Massa
Via Alberica, 24, 54100 Massa MS, Italy
The Diocesan Museum in Massa is housed in the rooms on the first floor of the former Bishop’s Palace, built in the 16th century for the lesser branch of the noble Cybo Malaspina family, later transformed into the headquarters of the bishops in the local diocese, a role it served from 1822 to 1970.
The museum was founded to protect and valorize the artistic patrimony housed in the diocese’s churches. Some of the works are permanently conserved in the Pinacoteca, or painting gallery, for security and protective reasons, while others are rotated for display depending on the themes presented, allowing visitors to go in-depth on specific topics and introducing aspects of the area’s artistic culture that are little-known to the public.
Worthy of mention are the altarpiece by Bernardino del Castelletto made for the altar in the bishop’s chapel at the Convent of Santa Elisabetta, the statue of St. Leonard by Jacopo della Quercia (1420), a marble Pietà sculpted by Gelice Palma and a crucifix attributed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
There is also a section dedicated to the Cathedral of Saints Pietro and Francesco, the most important church in Massa: one of the treasures not to be missed in the historic center of the city.