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'Giuseppe Fontana' Ethnographic Museum

What to see in Sappada, Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia


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Between the sixties and the seventies of the twentieth century the concern of the maestro Giuseppe Fontana to curb the dispersion in the act of cultural heritage sappadino the committed to collect a certain quantity of objects such as agricultural tools, housewares and of daily use, up to constitute an ethnographic museum, which was set up in 1972 and developed in subsequent years in a building in the Borgata Bach. At his death in 1975 the Ethnographic Museum was named after him and from then until today the collections were enriched; in 1999 was set up a section geology and palaeontology in which there is described the geological history of the valley. In 2009 the collections have been expanded and transferred to a new place of Cima Sappada.

In the new conception, the Ethnographic Museum "Giuseppe Fontana" proposes a complete itinerary from the natural environment to the identity of the community that there is established and integrated. The visitor is introduced to the knowledge of the geology, flora and fauna of the valley of Sappada, in order to design the organic unity of the environment that hosted in the Middle Ages the first inhabitants. In the windows of the shops you can observe samples of local rocks, some of the fossils, a diorama with the reconstruction of a natural habitat and a sampling of the avifauna. On the walls and in the columns are shown the main botanical species, used for cooking and folk medicine, and the arboreal species present in the valley, with the corresponding names in sappadino and Italian. A historical section deepens the origins and history of sappadini up to our days.

The interesting testimonies show, in ethnographic collections, such as the environment has forged the habits: the relative isolation of a time, the special climatic conditions, together with the peculiar identity of the community which island German-speaking linguistic, favored a system of frugal living and virtually self-sufficient, by fostering the development of the so-called 'Wood culture'. They are eloquent witnesses the architectural typologies of the valley, which is dedicated a special section. Historical images portray the population of Sappada and in some cases are exposed clothing from work and of the feast, for men and women.

In the central part of the museum there enters the domestic life sappadina: there are collected objects of daily use environments such as kitchen, Corridor, the dining room and the room, which have not been rebuilt because it is possible to visit them in the House Museum of Peasant Civilisation, the second museum of Sappada. The largest conference room houses the tools of activities agro-sylvo-pastoral and craftsmanship in the simple but tough existence conducted by sappadini: by the forester goes to the section dedicated to snow, from the pastor to the stable, the barn and in the agricultural work, from transportation to craft activities of carter, blacksmith, carpenter and finally to the shoemaker, tailor and weaver. At the center of the museum, as it was at the center of life sappadina, is located the illustrative section of popular religiosity in the most significant moments of the liturgical year. Conclude the path the masks of the Carnival sappadino (vosenòcht), a tradition still alive in Sappada, among which stands out the austere figure of the Rollate.

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Contrada Collalto, 7, 33057 Palmanova UD, Palmanova (Udine)
87.34 Kilometers from 'Giuseppe Fontana' Ethnographic Museum
= distances as the crow flies
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