The Archaeological Museum has been housed in Palazzo Giovio, the urban residence of the counts of that name, since 1897. Dating back to the late Middle Ages, the building underwent some alterations in the 16th century but took its present shape in the 18th with Giovan Battista Giovio, who also had the gardens laid out with the construction of the steps and the nymphaeum.
The museum is divided into various sections, focusing primarily on the history of the Como area as illustrated by archaeological items since the earliest traces of human occupation.
The prehistoric and protohistoric section provides as particularly well documented overview of the Golasecca culture, which developed in the area of Como in the first millennium BC.
The Roman section presents material from the town of Novum Comum, founded by Julius Caesar, and illustrates the most salient aspects of the everyday life of the time.
Some rooms are devoted to collections built up in the 19th-century, including those housing prehistoric finds, Egyptian items, Greek vases, gems, coins and small bronzes.