If you can force yourselves away from the Renaissance, rewind a millennium or two at one of the most important archaeological collections in central Italy, which has a particular emphasis on the Etruscan period. You will need a little patience, however: The collection is in a seemingly endless state of reorganization, and displays are somewhat user-unfriendly. Exhibits have a habit of moving around, but you will quickly find the “Arezzo Chimera” ★★, a bronze figure of a mythical lion–goat–serpent dating to the 4th century b.c. It is perhaps the most important bronze sculpture to survive from the Etruscan era, and usually shares a room with the “Arringatore,” a lifesize bronze of an orator dating to the 1st century, just as Etruscan culture was being subsumed by Ancient Rome. The top floor is not always open, but if it is hunt down the “Idolino” ★, an exquisite and slightly mysterious, lithe bronze. The collection is also strong on Etruscan-era bucchero pottery and funerary urns from digs around Tuscany, and Egyptian relics that include several sarcophagi displayed in a series of eerie galleries.
One bonus: Such is the dominance of medieval and Renaissance sites in the city that you may have the place to yourself.