Museums of Casentino
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8 museums to discover Casentino

The Casentino valley reveals itself as a fascinating kaleidoscope of colors and natural wonders, some of which have obtained the prestigious UNESCO recognition as part of the world heritage. In addition to the lush forests that characterize the landscape, this territory contains a rich treasure chest of works of art, monuments with centuries-old charm, and evidence of science and traditional crafts. Through this article, we will lead you to discover the museums of Casentino, authentic custodians of the past and present of a land permeated by ancient traditions.

Museo Archeologico del Casentino “Piero Albertoni” in Bibbiena

The Casentino Archaeological Museum “Piero Albertoni” traces a fascinating journey through the history of the valley, from the Paleolithic era to the late Roman age. The first rooms of the museum are dedicated to the life of prehistoric men, offering the opportunity to explore both authentic finds and live a tactile experience thanks to their faithful reproductions. The itinerary continues with rooms dedicated to the Etruscans, the true protagonists of the museum, with an extraordinary display of beautiful bronzes from the Lake of the Idols, where a sanctuary was located during antiquity. Finally, the museum overlooks the Roman era, presenting the last rooms with a rich collection of finds mainly linked to the preparation of food. This itinerary offers a unique glimpse into everyday life in Roman times, allowing visitors to perceive the past with completely new eyes.

Centro Italiano della Fotografia d’Autore of Bibbiena

The Centro Italiano della Fotografia d’Autore in Bibbiena, created on the initiative of the Italian Federation of Photographic Associations (FIAF), one of the most prestigious photographic associations at national level, plays a central role in the promotion of numerous cultural activities. In the foreground among these initiatives, the valorization of Italian photography from the post-war period onwards. In addition to preserving, cataloging and presenting to the public the rich photographic heritage of which it is custodian, CIFA acts as a venue for meetings, conferences and important exhibitions. An essential stop is the open-air gallery, where the art of photography accompanies visitors through the charming village of Bibbiena, offering a unique and engaging experience.

EcoMuseo della Castagna in Raggiolo

The EcoMuseo della Castagna of Raggiolo, an integral part of the itinerary in the forest of the Casentino EcoMuseum, was born from the profound connection between the community of the Teggina valley and the landscape which saw the chestnut tree transformed, thanks to human care, into a plant domestic essential for the nutrition of the populations of the Casentino.
The museum focuses on the collection and food use of the chestnut. The first section presents the tools used in harvesting, followed by the drying process and extraction of the chestnuts. The final section delves into the domestic environment in which families consumed dishes prepared with chestnut flour.
Visitors follow a path that leads them from the forest to the squeegee, to the mill and finally to the museum site, where they conclude the experience in the chestnut laboratory. Here, even the littlest ones can manipulate and work with all the previously explored materials and elements, thus enriching their understanding of the importance of the chestnut in the history and daily life of the community.

Museo dell’arte della lana of Stia

Immersed in the atmosphere of a former woolen mill, the Museum of the Art of Wool offers a fascinating journey into the history of one of the most significant activities of the Casentino. Through the renovation of vintage machinery and the reconstruction of the weaving process, the museum not only allows you to explore the world of textile production, but also invites you to live a unique sensorial experience. Visitors will have the opportunity to touch, smell and immerse themselves in the manual gestures of this timeless art, discovering the magical union between fibers and materials that characterizes the art of wool.

Museum of the Art of Wool in Stia
Museum of the Art of Wool (Photo by Albarubescens / CC BY)

Planetario del Parco in Stia

The Planetario del Parco, the only one of its kind in the area, offers an extraordinary reconstruction of the celestial vault inside a specially dedicated room, with a dome that emulates the night sky in an environment devoid of city lights. Through an engaging game with the celestial sphere and simulations of space-time movements, visitors can explore the northern sky in all its seasonal nuances. During this experience, you can identify constellations, stellar movements, as well as observe the Moon, Sun and planets, while learning celestial orientation techniques. Outside, direct observation of the sky, both with the naked eye and through available telescopes, offers an authentic journey between stars and planets, enriching the experience with a direct connection with the universe.

Museo dello Sci e Museo del Bosco e della Montagna in Stia

The Museum, an integral part of the Casentino Ecomuseum, finds its home in evocative spaces within the historic center of the picturesque town of Stia. A continuous experience awaits visitors in the museum structures of the Ski, Forest and Mountain Museum, and the Ornithological Collection, harmoniously connecting the structural and thematic aspects.

The Ski Museum is dedicated to the traditions of mountain life in the Casentino and to the evolution of skiing both as an instrument and as a competitive sport. At the same time, the Forest and Mountain Museum focuses on the life and economy linked to the mountains, once closely connected to the breeding and exploitation of the forest. Inside the latter museum, the specimens that make up the “Carlo Beni” Ornithological Collection are exhibited, further enriching the visitor experience with an overview of the rich biodiversity of the region.

Museo d’arte Contemporanea of Stia

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Stia is housed in the evocative Palagio Fiorentino, a thirteenth-century building originally owned by the Guidi Counts and completely restored in 1908 with medieval shapes by Giuseppe Castellucci.
Born with the aim of promoting contemporary art in a small center in the foothills, the museum boasts a prestigious location. The collection is mainly made up of works by contemporary Tuscan artists or those who have resided in Tuscany for a long time. The initial nucleus of the collection consists of the generous donation of 53 paintings and 10 sculptures offered by Vicky Galati Indelli, in memory of her father Americo Francesco Galati.
The collection subsequently enriched its heritage with works donated to the Municipality of Stia, reaching today around 200 works, including sculptures, paintings and graphics. The artists represented include prominent figures such as Pietro Annigoni, Giò Pomodoro, Ottone Rosai, Marino Marini, Quinto Martini, Pietro Parigi and many others, making the Museum of Contemporary Art of Stia an exceptional treasure chest of artistic creativity.

Guidi’s Castle in Poppi

The Guidi’s Castle in Poppi, although not strictly a museum, stands out for the richness of the works of art kept inside and for the fascinating exhibitions it hosts. Considered the most illustrious monument of the valley, and perhaps the most iconic, this imposing castle, founded by the noble family of the Guidi Counts, has been documented since 1191. Its courtyard, adorned with noble coats of arms, offers a visual spectacle, while the intricate stone stairs seem to lead visitors into an artistic labyrinth, almost inspired by the works of Escher. Highlights include an impressive library with over 25,000 ancient volumes, a ballroom vibrant with color, and a chapel adorned with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi, a pupil of Giotto. For those who want a challenge, the climb to the top of the tower is rewarded with an absolutely breathtaking panoramic view, making this experience an unmissable journey back in time.

Guidi's Castle in Poppi
Guidi’s Castle in Poppi
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