The “culture” of Abruzzo, 10 museums to visit

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Carmelita CianciWritten by:

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Musei A cultural route that touches the most representative museums of the Terre dei Trabocchi in Abruzzo, discovering slivers of history, art, tradition and nature. Here’s our top ten.

Pinacoteca

The Municipal Museums of Palazzo d’Avalos and the Pinacoteca Palizzi, Vasto
The municipal museums are housed in the splendid rooms of Palazzo d’Avalos in Vasto. The archaeological museum is the oldest public museum of Abruzzo. The exhibition features over 1000 objects, witnesses of the history of the ancient town of Vasto and its region over a span of more than three millennia. You may admire sarcophagi, sculptures, vases, jewelry, weapons, and coins, in addition to a beautiful mosaic floor from the area of the ancient Istionesian baths.
La Galleria d’Arte Moderna was founded instead as a natural continuation of the exhibition entitled “Mediterranea”, which in 2002 opened to the public the works donated to the Town of Vasto by the Paglione family. The Museum of Costume includes a collection of paintings depicting traditional dress and a collection of precious Abruzzese dresses dating from the beginning of the 800’s to the beginning of the 900’s. The gallery contains a sector dedicated to contemporary paintings, in particular those of the 800’s, with works by major artists, including the Palizzi brothers and Gabriele Smargiassi. Info and reservations: 0873367773.

Museo dell'orso marsicano

Museum of the Marsicano bears, Palena
The MOM, the “Museo dell’Orso Marsicano”, is housed in a wing of the former convent of St. Anthony, in the municipality of Palena. The exhibition area consists of 5 sections equipped with panels, dioramas and a reconstruction of the forest at night.
The rooms describe in detail the biological characteristics, habits of life, history and mythology of the bear, without forgetting all the problems related to risk of extinction and to projects for the protection and preservation. The dioramas present are very suggestive, and impressive and realistic reproductions of the marsicano giant of Michele Vitaloni.
In the structure there is also an audio-visual room which allows the projection of videos and pictures dedicated to the bear and the park in general. Info and reservations: 3398629165.

Schiavi d'Abruzzo

The Archeological Museum of Schiavi d’Abruzzo
The Museum celebrates the most significant findings unearthed in the Italic temples, through an exhibition space created with didactic purposes, by making the visitor go through a ring-shaped path. Ample space is given to the three-dimensional installations to illustrate directly the most relevant themes: the sacred area, with an analysis focused on the italic temple architecture, and burials and funerary rites, with rich early kits from imperial tombs found in the nearby necropolis. Info and reservations: 3891812311.

Polo Museale Santo Spirito

Polo Museale Santo Spirito, Lanciano
Polo Museale Santo Spirito is one of the oldest buildings of the city of Lanciano, its founding dates back to 1293. It was originally a monastery, after years of restoration it was possible to recover the structure, which now houses the archaeological museum, two exhibition halls, a classroom and a seminar room. The archaeological museum is a long way into the ancient history of Lanciano: starting from the 5th Millennium BC until the Roman-era City Hall, with the subsequent stages of the Byzantine period and the early middle ages. The journey ends with the exposure of refined archaic “maiolica” vases made by potters in medieval times. Info and booking 0872700578 – 3386915652.

Parco del Quadrilatero, San Salvo

Archaeological Park of the quadrangle, San Salvo
The historical centre of San Salvo is home to the Archaeological Park of the quadrangle, inside the Porta della Terra municipal museum, almost entirely underground, which houses finds from the surrounding area, a trip into the past along 3,000 years: the story of the powerful medieval Abbey originated at San Salvo. The testimony of an important centre that in Roman times lived by intense trade with the territories of the Empire, but also the culture and religion of the Frentani, evidenced by the precious objects dedicated to the cult of the dead. Info and reservations: 3891812311.

Museo Sassu

Sassu Museum, Atessa
The key location is that of Palazzo Ferri at Atessa, which houses inside of it the Museo Aligi Sassu, a “permanent exhibition” of 210 works on paper, done by master Aligi Sassu from 1927 to 1990. The exhibition traces the most salient moments of artistic and existential diagram of the Italian painter and sculptor: the early works of futurism of the 30’s with the famous cyclists, the evocative red men, suffered crucifixions, the mind-boggling cafes, lively battles, but also painful shadows tied to prison and anti-fascist activity, lively bullfights of the 60’s, Orlando Furioso’s dreamlike illustrations. Info and reservations: 0872850421.

Centro Maurizio Locati

The “Maurizio Locati” visitor’s centre, Lama dei Peligni
The “Maurizio Locati” visitors centre has a large section devoted to the Apennine chamois, narrated and illustrated through numerous didactic panels. However, the archaeological section is also very interesting. It allows you to travel back in time through the history of the East Majella from the middle ages back to prehistory.
Among the oldest finds is the cast of the Majella Man, found in a part of the Lama dei Peligni dating back to more than 7,000 years ago. Another area of the center that is worth a visit is the Botanical Garden, divided into several sections which represent the vegetation of Majella environments. Info and reservations: 0872916010

La Giostra della Memoria

La Giostra della Memoria, San Salvo
Within walking distance of the Archaeological Museum, in a building of the old houses connected on the inside, Angiolina Balduzzi welcomes you into its Giostra della Memoria, a special place, collective memory and keeper of local folklore, a maze dominated by fragments of history and tradition, as the tools and artifacts of the Abruzzo peasant and pastoral culture, but also items related to the personal and family sphere of Angiolina. Info and reservations: 3402742081.

Gessopalena

The Chalk Museum, Gessopalena
Gypsum, as well as in a geological and speleological setting, represents an exceptional cultural value for many centres of the Aventino area. In Gessopalena its more complex and spectacular aspects are put on display. Just take a look at the beautiful village characterized by houses leaning against each other along the rock profile, carved and shaped.
The Museum tells, through illustrations unique in the world, the long history of this village, the stages of the extraction and processing of gypsum, its use in construction, going on to outline a real “organic architecture”, typical of the history of this territory. Info and reservations: 08729881112.

Museo Diocesano

Diocesan Museum, Lanciano
The Museo Diocesano di Lanciano, inside the Palazzo del Seminario, is one of the most important sacred art museums in Italy.
Opened to the public in 2002, the museum is the result of a careful and meticulous research of ancient works in the Archdiocese and in several churches in Lanciano, some of which were deconsecrated for centuries.
In about a thousand square metres of exhibition space, they found considerable evidence of place centuries of church history: it contains old paintings, sculptures, jewelry, vestments, votive offerings, wooden furnishings, embroideries, manuscripts, and precious bindings. Info and reservations: 0872712648.

Translated by Alan Glenn Embree 

[Credits|Photography: Trignosinelloturismo.it, Carmelita Cianci, Antonio Fragassi, Google Image, Museumengineering.com, museate.it]

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