Archaeology, history, nature and ancient crafts come together in the many interesting sites tourists can visit in the heart of the Casentino region. The Ecomuseum circuit was created to gather, document and put on display the traditions of the region, as well as to highlight the importance of maintaining the memory of many important ancient skills and habits. The museum is divided into 6 areas which look at archaeology, water, woodland, agriculture and local industry. Thanks to archaeological sites in the area around Castel Focognano, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia and Bibbiena, the region also is a great place to study and learn about ancient Etruscan and Roman civilisation.
The section of the museum dedicated to water is particularly interesting as water is one of the dominant features of the local landscape and has always played a vital role in local life. The museum shows how man’s relationship with water in Casentino has changed and developed over the centuries by examining the structures of the area’s bridges, products and watermills. The section that focuses on the region’s woodland is equally fascinating. The museum looks at the different species of trees that make up Casentino’s forests, from the beech and conifer woods of Camaldoli and La Verna, to the wooded parkland at Ortignano Raggiolo (incidentally home of the Chestnut Museum).
There are many different ways to get to know the area better, from education centres to museums to guided woodland footpaths. In Cetica, for example, you might like to visit the Carbonaio Museum, while near Chitignano you could go to the Museo della Polvere da Sparo e del Contrabando (the Museum of Gunpowder and Smuggling) where there is a guided walk through the Polveriera dell’Inferno. In Stia, you can visit the Woodland and Mountain Museum. To learn more about local traditions and culture, you should go to the Peasant’s House Museum (Museo della Casa Contadina) in Castelnuovo.
Finally, don’t miss the part of the Ecomuseum circuit dedicated to local industry such as the wool districts in Stia and Soci which are famous for producing Casentino cloth. There are also the silk making factories in Rassina and Subbiano. The Ecomuseum circuit has something for everyone, be it nature, history, traditions or rural economy. Come and discover this special region and its rich cultural and natural traditions!
Contact (ITA): Ecomuseo del Csentino
Cover image credit: Francesco Ciabatti