There are also gold and silver coins, ancient maps, books,
inscriptions and Greek vases, as well as portrait busts and votive
offerings to Greek gods whose shrines once dotted the Italian landscape.
Some of Europe's finest Greek temples are still to be seen at Paestum,
south of Naples.
The area around them has delivered up some stunning archaeological
discoveries, including wall paintings, elaborate bronze containers for
honey, wine and oil, and inscriptions which provide important clues about
this now almost vanished world.
Two large sheets of bronze, known as the Tablets of Heraclea, dug up
in 1732 and now in the Naples museum, are also on show in Catanzaro.
They bear ancient inscriptions on one side in Greek and, on the other,
a text dating from several hundred years later in Latin.
They provided some of the first documentary evidence about the lives
of the Greek-speaking ancient inhabitants of this part of the
Mr Settis told me that as a native of Calabria, he had first become
fascinated by an unexpected legacy of Magna Graecia - the large number of
ancient Greek words that have survived more than 2,000 years in his local
"It was English aristocrats who first became infatuated with the Greek
sculptures dug up in Southern Italy in the late eighteenth century.