First we gave you 5 unusual museums for an itinerary in Tuscany off the usual routes. Then we gave you 5 other original museums. Since you liked it, why stop now? So here are 5 more and a map featuring them all. Enjoy your unusual Tuscany!
- The Chestnut Museum in Colognora (Lucca) celebrates the historic relationship between the local population and its natural landscape and chestnut tree cultivations. Here visitors can discover how chestnuts are used in local cooking, see the tools and items relating to historical, local peasant and farming culture and learn about the chestnut harvest, the drying phase and the transformation into a food product. There is also a wealth of information about the use of chestnut groves by local woodsmen. As well as visiting the museum, you can also take a tour through the village and local area to visit the metato, the place where the chestnuts were dried. There is also a charcoal pit and straw hut.
- The Santa Cecilia Museum of Ancient Mechanical Organs in Massa Marittima is located in the church of San Pietro all’ Orto: it's the oldest church in town (built in 1197) and preserves windows and medieval frescoes. Inside you can admire a unique collection of 12 antique Italian organs, made between 1680 and 1839, plus 6 keyboard instruments that tell you about the technological and stylistic evolution from the harpsichord to the piano.
- The Museum of Vine and Wine in Rufina (Valdarno area) is housed in the old cellars of the beautiful Poggio Reale Villa. On display there are items documenting the winery tradition of this territory, pictures and images of a virtual vineyard, short films (from the 1920s to the 1950s) about the funny side of the grape picking process, all the different types of containers in which wine used to be stored, information about the wine trade, from the Etruscan age till now, and a restored wooden vat in which some openings have been carved out: it is possible to smell, listen and see the fascinating process of alcoholic fermentation (a video shows the modern techniques of this process). Next to the museum there is an enoteca, a wine bar where local wines can be tasted.
- A visit to the Mining Museum in Montecatini Val di Cecina will take you inside the 300-metre deep mine shaft where copper was once made. The area has always been linked to the copper mine activity: the Etruscans were the first to exploit the abundant natural resources of this territory, using the precious metal to forge tools and ornamental furnishings. To perpetuate this important historical period, the decision was made to set up an industrial archaeology museum in the former mining area and in what is left of the mine, with guided tours and educational and fun activities for children.
- In the center of Monterchi (Arezzo), inside the sixteenth-century Palazzo Massi-Alberti, there is the unusual Museum of Weights and Scales, the most important collection of this kind in Europe! The museums hosts the Ortolani collection, made up of hundreds of items that Valerio Ortolani found scouring antiques markets and small shops since the 1960s: the oldest piece is a fifteenth-century weight, whereas the most recent is a weighing scale from 1948. The museum shows also the evolution of the many different Italian and foreign systems of measurement.
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