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Culture in the valley: local museums

Culture in the valley: local museums

The Intelvi Valley is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural places in Italy, a place where you can go in search of romantic corners with breathtaking views, and spend time in the open air catching the beautiful side of nature among its wonderful landscapes.

But the Intelvi Valley is not just nature; this wonderful place is also art and culture, which can be admired in the local museums of this precious and many-sided land.

Among the most interesting museums we find the “Museum of Sacred Art” in Scaria.
Recently reopened to the public, after a restoration that lasted around 15 years.
The museum, which extends on two floors, contains several testimonies such as paintings, prints, artworks, pieces of goldwork and sculptures that come from all over the valley.

Among the most significant works, you can admire the cross “by Antelami” from the 12th century, the statues of Ercole Ferrata (the sculptor who worked alongside Bernini in Rome, and who signed the central statue on Ponte Sant’Angelo), as well as the portraits of Carlo Innocenzo Carloni and the great apparatus made for the Quarantore (Forty Hours’ Devotion) called “Paradisino”.

On the other hand, at Cerano d’intelvi you can visit the small “Museum of Stucco and  Scagliola of Intelvi”.
Located in a wing of Palazzo Perlasca-Pinchetti, a small museum that documents the history of the traditional work of stucco to create religious decorations, primarily the traditional “antependiums made from scagliola of Intelvi” (decorative coverings placed on the front of the altar).

The uniqueness of this museum lies in the fact that there are no other museums, neither in Italy nor abroad, that house, collect and disseminate studies on stucco and scagliola.

Another museum, which among other things could be interesting to visit also with your children, is the “Intelvi Museum of Fossils”.
Located at Scaria, an exhibition of fossil finds to discover the characteristics and lifestyles of the living beings that populated the valley in prehistoric times.

Inside the museum you will find important specimens found in the mountains of Intelvi and in the surrounding areas, such as the giant Conifers of the Sanagra Valley, or reptiles from the gulf of Tetide di Besano, and the sharks and Jurassic crustaceans found at Osteno d’Intelvi, such as the grandiose specimen of Ostenocaris cypriformis, the fossil leaves from Rè and the glacial Predators from Mount Generoso.

If, on the contrary, you are interested in traditions and cultures, either technological and  ethnographic, of the most recent past, you cannot miss a visit to the “Museum of Milk”, housed in the Cerano dairy.

It is a real great opportunity to keep the memory of the past alive.
In the large exhibition hall you will find tools that formerly belonged to the valley’s dairies, such as “conghe”, “fascere” (cheese moulds), “brentel”, “zangole” (churns) and a “culdera” (the traditional copper pot shaped like an upside-down bell that was once used to mix cow’s milk with goat’s milk).

In addition, you can watch a movie dating back to the early ’80s showing locals who tell anecdotes about their jobs.
In one part of the museum, there are also objects of daily life used in the last century, such as a bed warmer, a scale, a sewing machine, some elegant clothes that were kept for special occasions in the early 20th century.

Another museum worthy of a visit is the “Ethnographic Museum of the Peasant Civilization” in Casasco Intelvi.
Located next to Piazza Paneè, it is housed in a charming country house with the aim of preserving and handing down the cultural heritage of the rural civilization of the Intelvi Valley through objects, divided according to the activity they were destined to, which bear witness to the various activities of the period (agriculture, breeding, cheese-making, craft activities and domestic life).

Finally, the open-air museum “of the donkey invasion” is noteworthy as well.
In Dizzasco, since 2011 a popular tradition began to merge into art, giving the village the appearance of a real open-air museum, thanks to all the permanent art installations located in places that are clearly visible and accessible to everyone.
So there is not a shadow of doubt that the country deserves a walk through its streets full of history and art at the same time.