Our educational programs

SCHOOLS AT THE MUSEUM

The activities are conceived to offer the younger visitors an experiential tour, while older students can experience more course-related tours and workshops.
Our offers are either practical activities to be carried out at the museum or the combination of a meeting taking place in the classroom and a workshop at the museum. They are conceived to support school programs from elementary to high school.

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CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

Educational tours

Duration h 1,5, price € 80

Workshop

Duration h 2, price € 100

Educational tour + workshop

Duration h 2,5, price € 160

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS DIFFERENTIATE BY AGE TARGET

Educational Tours

THE SHIPS
Let’s discover the Ancient Ships of Pisa: once upon a time…the sea giants!
The tour focuses on stimulating the curiosity of younger visitors while becoming familiar with the great Roman ships and Pisa history.

Duration:1,5 hours

PISA, THE CITY BETWEEN ARNO AND AUSER
From the riverside village to roman colony.

The themed tour focuses on the history of Pisa starting from the origins of the city. We will retrace the history of the territory using the evidence of the first settlements and continuing until the foundation of the Roman colony.

SAILING IN ANCIENT TIMES
Techniques and equipment in use: the sky is our guide
When compass had not been invented yet, the stars in the sky where the basic landmarks to find one’s bearing at sea. Thanks to this interactive tour we will discover the sailing techniques of the ancient world by learning to observe the sky: the small planetarium inside the museum shows a section of the sky and of the constellations that were visible at the times when Pisa ships sailed the seas.

Duration:1,5 hours

THE SHIPS
Let’s discover the Museum of the Ancient Ships of Pisa: once upon a time… the sea giants!

The tour focuses on stimulating the students’ curiosity, from the younger visitors to the older students: everyone will become familiar with the great Roman ships and the history of Pisa.

TRADINGS
Trading routes and shipments: import-export in the ancient world

The majority of the ships found in San Rossore area were cargo ships and, as a matter of fact, they still had their loads on board when they were discovered. These incredible finds allowed us to increase our knowledge on trading goods and routes: the ships sailed on genuine “sea streets” to transport various kind of goods, such as “hams” from Spain, fruits from Campania, even mysterious ones as the kilos of sand from Naples Gulf.

LIFE ON BOARD
Daily activities, games and hobbies

How did people in the past travel? There were no passenger ships, so people would have to board on cargo ships. The exceptional finds discovered in Pisa give us a glimpse on daily life on board. Let’s browse inside the passengers’ luggage to find out what sailors ate, which were the cults and the superstitions on board and what games would the passengers play as a pastime during their long trips.

Duration:1,5 hours

PISA, THE CITY BETWEEN ARNO AND AUSER
After the Romans: here come the Langobards!

What happened to Pisa at the end of the Roman Empire? It still is a mysterious period in our history: during the 4th century AD the city shifts from being a naval harbor serving the Byzantine Empire to becoming part of the Langobards domain. Let’s discover the richness of this population coming from the North through rare and rich evidence discovered in the Langobard necropolis in Piazza dei Miracoli.

Duration:1,5 hours

ECONOMY AND DAILY LIFE IN AGER PISANUS
Flooding violence, soil exploitation and hydrogeological instability: a lesson from the past

The territory around Pisa was massively exploited in the past: it was densely covered with forests, and thus it was rich in wood, and many quarries were dug for building materials. This hectic use caused serious problems due to hydrogeological instability. Great damage to the local ecosystem gave way to disastrous flooding almost on a regular basis: their evidence is documented in the excavation of the roman ships in Pisa.

Duration:1,5 hours

Workshop

LIFE ON BOARD
A pocket… horse
Which were the toys for roman children? Among the loads of the shipwrecks the archaeologists found a few terracotta toys, such as a bird-shaped whistle and a miniature horse. Let’s recreate them using wood and clay.

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST AND THE CONSERVATOR
Guess what this is
In the Ancient Ships of Pisa Museum, it is extraordinarily possible to interact with the finds displayed in one of the rooms: they are displayed as they would appear on an excavation site. As part of this experience we will be able to actually touch the original finds, learning how to recognize the objects from fragments and how to identify the materials.

Duration:2 hours

PISA, THE CITY BETWEEN ARNO AND AUSER
Ancient weave
How and what did our ancestors weave? Let’s find out how weaving, one of the great Neolithic inventions, was discovered: we will weave cloth using a horizontal loom, just like the ones or ancestors would use.

From clay to pottery
Let’s discover how our ancestors learnt to create and decorate pottery, one of the great Neolithic inventions. We will make and decorate a clay pot using Prehistoric techniques.

LIFE ON BOARD
Ludus Latrunculorum: pastime on board
Sailors’ life on the sea was hard and strenuous, whereas passengers didn’t have much to do during the trip: they had to find ways to kill time with games and hobbies. Let’s try a board game from Roman times by duplicating the dices recovered during the excavations.

May Neptune help us: cults on board and superstitions
Roman seafaring had a number of protecting gods, such as Neptune, Venus, the Nereids, Hercules and many more. Every ship had its own guardian god and it received proper honors on board. We will learn the cults and the superstitions on the ships, and we will make talismans and other objects related to sea rituals.

Duration 2 hours

ECONOMY AND DAILY LIFE IN AGER PISANUS
Fishing on the Auser

Economy in Pisa plain during the past was linked to the use of resources naturally provided by the swamp and river environments: fishing was indeed one of the most important activities. We will recreate a fishing line with hooks and floats on the basis of the archaeological finds retrieved on the excavation sites.

Walking along Arno and Auser riversides

Let’s discover what daily life on the riverside was like: not only sustenance activities, such as fishing, but also more common aspects of the life of ancient Pisans, such as their clothing. We will make a sandal with wood and hemp rope, copying the ones exceptionally found in the Pisa ships excavation site.

LIFE ON BOARD
Lighting on board: roman lucernae (oil lamps)

When the light bulb didn’t exist, lighting on the ships was assured by small pottery or, occasionally, metal oil lamps. Let’s find out how lucernae worked and let’s duplicate them with clay and bivalve moulds on the basis of the ones retrieved during the excavations.

The sailor’s diet

Thanks to the extraordinary preservation of the Ancients ships of Pisa finds we are able to acknowledge exactly what sailors ate during the long sea fares. We will also discover what the ship kitchen looked like as it has been precisely duplicated in the exhibit, and we will cook two recipes from De re coquinaria by Apicio, a glutton who lived 2000 years ago.

A treasure in the box: story of a lost luggage

Inside the museum, it is possible to browse inside a 2nd century AD traveler’s luggage: in a wooden box a few personal belongings were preserved. Among other things, there was the essential writing kit, fit to write small messages, and a small stash, corresponding to the monthly salary of a sailor.

Let’s discover what the value of roman coins was during the Empire Age by making a sestertium minting; otherwise let’s duplicate a stylus and a small volumen, a small scroll, on the example of those found in the sailor’s box.

SAILING EQUIPMENT AND GEAR
The weather, the sky, the route

How did sailors orient themselves? In the planetarium we will discover how the sky looked like 2000 years ago, and then we will analyze sailing mechanisms, learning which gear was used to calculate sea routes in the past. Children will eventually build the essential tool used by all sailors of the ancient times: the wooden sundial.

TRADINGS
Sea paths

When a ship docked in a harbor, someone would go and collect the goods and merchandise coming from faraway lands. But how did the addressee identify his goods among all the ones in the shipment? We will discover which were the sea routes, which goods would the ships transport and how the load was organized on board: we will duplicate the “labelling” system for the shipment on pottery shards on the example of the inscriptions and markings made with paint or graffiti found on the anforae.

Oleum romanorum: one product, a thousand uses

Oil was one of the main traded goods in the past and in Roman Age it literally had a thousand uses. We will acknowledge a few and then try to create a perfume by mixing this precious ingredient with flowers and other extracts.

RECOVERED SHIPS
An Alkedo piece, the white, the red

The Alkedo ship was a big private boat, but it was built to look like a war ship. Among the ships found in Pisa this is the only one whose name is known, as it was incised on one of the rowers’ bench: ALK(E)DO (seagull). We will learn ancient naval woodwork techniques and we will try hull caulking and varnishing techniques on a piece of wood, on the basis of the one found on the Alkedo ship.

On board look

While digging the ancient ships in Pisa, a few work clothes, talismans, accessories were found. These finds and the data coming from classical references allow us to imagine the look of ancient sailors. We will make an aesomic tunic and a faux leather work apron on the example of the one found on the Alkedo ship excavation.

Duration:2 hours

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST AND THE CONSERVATOR
The finds after the excavation: conservation techniques
It consists of a workshop aiming to becoming familiar with conservation techniques used on finds collected during the excavation process. A conservator will explain the techniques developed specifically for Pisa ships site and then lead the participants as they reconstruct archaeological finds.

Pot. One object, a thousand uses. Recycling in the past

In the past, pottery was used in a thousand different ways: containers, sculptures, mouthpieces, everything was pottery… but what happened when these objects broke? Romans did not waste anything! Let’s discover the different lives of pots, their trips across the Mediterranean Sea, how they were re-used, recycled: learning from the past could be a useful lesson for our present.

The archaeological excavation of the Ancient Ships

In this workshop we will simulate the main phases of the archaeological excavation of Pisa ships. Using duplications of stratigraphic evidence and formwork finds, the students will be involved in different activities typical of the archaeological work, they will learn and comprehend modern excavation techniques, the principles of this discipline, acquire the logic deductive process that allows us to recreate the past on a material data basis.

Duration: 2 hours

HOW TO BOOK

Monday – Friday
9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

+39 050 47029

Book

Reservation required

Families | Workshops for families with children (7-12 years of age)

A different workshop is offered every week, Saturdays and Sundays at 3.30 PM. Subscribe to our newsletter to always be updated.
Admission a fee 6€ per child.
Activities start with a minimum of 10 participants.
Please note that the presence of an adult per booking is requested.