Crafts from Lake Trasimeno
by Anna Bertinelli
Paciano, a delightful village of just nine hundred and forty inhabitants, is placed on the green hills overlooking Lake Trasimeno. It’s known as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy (Borghi più Belli d’Italia) and it has been chosen by many foreigners as the ideal place to buy a second home; it hosts an atypical museum within the Seventeenth Century Palazzo Baldeschi in the heart of the historic centre, whose main aim is to show-off its rich heritage made up of memories, recollections, and accounts of craftsmanship and know-how.
This is Trasimemo, a memory bank, a museum of artisan wisdom for all of those trades and occupations that were part of daily life on the shores of the lake.
Community's Jewel in the Crown
TrasiMemo is an innovative project the residents of this small town wanted and were keen to have. They are keen to preserve an heritage in which they see a generous propulsive thrust toward a future of renewal. On entering the hall of the museum, the feeling of community is palpable. It is not uncommon to find local citizens volunteering at the Info Points; each one of them has a story to tell or a tale of a particular local character which enriches the visit to this unique museum.
The setting and decor is very pleasant. The ambience is welcoming, the typical noise of work introduces visitors to the reality of artisan crafts through sound; warm lighting illuminates the path and draws attention to details that should not be taken for granted. The exhibits are organised through an archive to clearly indicate where various types of documents are held, divided into four main areas: iron and metal working, wood, terracotta and textiles.
Dear Visitors, you will not find big book to study; you will find drawers full of treasures: embroidery bobbins, coloured threads, loose, grippers, files, planers and then designs, colours and majolica. Every drop of traditional handicraft summed up into small objects that have strong evocative powers. And then there is the register, full of faces of those who still work with passion in the craft or those who would like to pass the baton to valid heirs.
These craftsmen are the protagonists of the stories on the walls of TrasiMemo and suppliers of the material stored in the Bank of Memory; they support many of the works that still form part of the urban fabric of the village and they also take part in the workshops run by the museum. From time to time, it is possible to participate in the workshop which is available for both adults and children, in order to try out the real handicraft work!
A Smart Museum
Visiting TrasiMemo is exciting for everyone. In addition to touching and seeing important and fascinating objects, there are four large summary panels, one for each area, which recount anecdotes and secrets linked to daily life and to the history of that profession. There is also the use of multi-media content to make the museum experience more interactive.
The wall of words or, to use technical jargon, the wall of the semantic fields, provides the exhibition a great visual impact. Visitors are encouraged to have fun choosing and taking pictures of the one that best describes their visit, to remember it. On leaving the museum it is important not to forget to looking for the symbols of artisanal activity that adorn the streets of Paciano. Public lighting, house numbers painted on majolica tiles and the iron structure of the communal well are just a few examples.
So why you should go visiting TrasiMemo?
«TrasiMemo is a place for everything and everyone: it is for craftsmen and those who have a memory of local knowledge; it is for the people who live in the region and who continue to think of workspaces and life; it is for heritage professionists who, through research, try to protect memory, organising it for the future; it is for visitors who decide to visit the Trasimeno area, wanting to better understand the relationship between its inhabitants, its landscapes and its local resources.»
TrasiMemo, Museum of Handicraft Memory – Paciano