Museo del territorio "La Fabbrica sul Viale"
Verdello




Address:
Viale XI Febbraio - 24049 Verdello
Tel. 035.4191415 - 035.870234
lafabbricasulviale@tiscali.it / www.verdellopericittadini.it /museo-del-territorio/

Opening times:
Upon request
Closing days: the whole month of August, from 24th December to 7th January and 1st May.

Admission:
Free of charge.

Tours:
Guided visits upon reservation.



Historical Info

The Museum contains farming objects and tools, but also domestic furnishings, toys, furniture and tools used by the artisans.
Andrea Baraldini, a farmer from Mantua who moved to Bergamo province when he was young, in the eighties started collecting everything related to the complex and charming peasant world.
Thank to his patience and persistance, he managed to collect over two-thousand pieces within the space of about twenty years. The local administration was so impressed with such an effort that it decided to establish a place to collect such material in order to raise awareness among the population. They acquired and restored a disused factory along the entrance of the village; this factory now houses the Museum of the Territory.
The idea of creating a Museum of the Territory originated from the recovery of some archaeologic pieces, which attested the presence of the first settlements in the surrounding area. A room reproducing the local life in the pre-Roman age will be arranged soon.

Exhibition Criteria

The exhibited pieces are organised into sections. Each room is equipped with illustrative panels, which explain how local people used to work and live.

The work in the fields and in the farmyard
Farming has a special link with nature (morphology, hydrography, climatic elements). The choice of specific cultivations, the working typologies and the life of the peasants, indeed, depend on the above-mentioned factors.
After the work in the fields, various activities took place in the farmyard, including the threshing and desiccation of cereals, cheese preparation, corn of the cob shucking, measurement of the crops.

The stable
Animals had an essential role both in the peasant life and in the farmstead spaces as working force and raw material providers. Horses and cattle required different equipment, from horseshoes to mangers, from yokes to brushes for cleaning horse coats. Not only was the stable the place that hosted animals, but it was also a collective meeting point for the peasants who, during winter evenings, used to gather to tell local stories and memories.

The bread
Bread was prepared in the farmsteads with the cultivated cereals, from which flours were obtained. These flours were used for mixed bread, which was bread partly made of wheat white flour and party with yellow corn flour.

The meat
Cattle and swine breeding was the pivotal activity of the farmsteads of Bergamo plain. Butchering was frequently done by the peasants themselves and was supported by a "norcino".

The milk
Even though until the 20th century the dairy sector of Bergamo territory was mostly confined to the mountain villages, through the collected pieces is possible to reconstruct this activity, from the milking to the transformation of milk into butter and cheese.

The wine
Even if throughout the 18th century the vineyards of the plain had slowed down due to mulberry production, wine making never stopped being practiced by families.

The weaving activity
Weaving had always been a widespread activity in the country. Sheep farming implied a subsequent wool weaving; linen and hemp producers partly cultivated it for their family needs. The reels, the carding machine and some equipment attest this domestic practice.

The shoemaker and the saddler
Shoemakers and saddlers had their own workshops in the cities, but in the country, they did not; they worked at their clients' homes or farms instead. Some of the tools changed depending if the artisans were itinerant or werebased somewhere. The work of carpenters, smiths and knife-grinders are documented through a rich collection of tools and equipment as well.

The kitchen
It was the core of the house, the only space to be heaten up by either the chimney or the stove. Children learnt to walk there, supported by a  baby-walker, while men used to shave with some objects, which are now exhibited alongside kitchenware, toys and a laundry tub.

The bedroom
Hardly ever, was the bedroom warmed up; for this reason, a bedwarmer was necessary. Alongside it are a basin and a jug, which lie on a mirror tripod and which replace the washbasin, which was absent for lack of water. The Museum has two external areas as well. One area is covered and houses big-sized pieces, such as wagons, gigs, ploughs, harrows, a country kitchen.
The amount and variety of these materials, which belong to different ages, allows retracing the development of the territory; that is why a cartographic documentation has been realised. The latter includes relevant documents, cadastres (together with the stock list of the belongings of ecclesiastic administrations and of the lords) and land registries and is aimed at analysing the landscape transformations that have happened througout the last two centuries. Thanks to some donations and some research on the sources, the Museum offers a library, a newspaper library comprising volumes and newspapers whose main subject is the history of agriculture, an archive with original documents from the 19th and 20th centuries on the history of agriculture, some photos documenting the local social history and economy and an audiovisual resource.

A special space is dedicated to exhibitions on specific themes. They are periodically arranged in order to give, particularly to school group, the chance of visiting both the exhibition themselves and the Museum.

There is also a screening room for the projection of educational videos.


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