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Museo del Carbonaio di Cetica

Carbonaio Museum in Cetica

Ancient local knowledge and local flavours are the focus at this museum in an old school house in Cetica

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Castel San Niccolò
The Carbonaio Museum in Cetica was set up to preserve the memory of an important local traditional activity: making coal from beech trees in the thick woodland that surrounds the town. The museum is in the town’s old school house which faces the ancient Romanesque church of Saint Angelo. The museum takes visitors through the three areas which describe the process and traditions of the coalmen with explanatory panels and tools on display. There is also a cinema room where a film is shown about the coalmen and also a laboratory where visitors can taste end enjoy some typical foods local to the area.

Visitors can admire a reconstruction of a coalman’s cabin and can then go on into the town itself to visit the ‘squares’ which are still used today for preparing the wood to turn it into coal. There are also working watermills to visit. It’s also interesting to see the G. Baldini Porto Franco ‘Banca della Memoria’ (The Memory Bank), next to the museum, where short films concerning local traditions are shown in cooperation with the museum. For centuries, the coalmen’s job represented man’s close ties to the forest. Until the middle of the last century, the job of cutting and ‘cooking’ the wood for coal was a highly important one in many mountainous areas, not only in the Casentino area. Techniques were handed down from father to son and can be studied today in demonstrations in towns like Cetica.

The museum is a kind of historical laboratory and is a monument to the coalmen’s traditional work. Many educational activities are held there, as well as cultural and gastronomic events. This way, Cetica hopes to preserve the knowledge surrounding this ancient mountain tradition which would otherwise be so easily lost.

Source: Ecomuseo del Casentino
Castel San Niccolò
A handful of stone villages on the slopes of the PRATOMAGNO
Castel San Niccolò is a diffused municipality of sorts, whose main centre is the village of Strada in Casentino. The town takes its name from the namesake Conti Guidi Castle, which overlooks Strada in Casentino. ...