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Bettona belongs to the Club
I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia


Being the only Etruscan settlement on the left bank of Tiber river, Bettona rises 365 meters above the sea level, on a hill that outlines the extreme propagation of a hilly system detached from the Martani Mountains. Railing of Umbria, it dominates the flat valley below, and it opens up to the surrounding towns and the Apennine, which, far away, rise above.


Museum of the City of Bettona


Its ancient Umbrian-Etruscan origins, numerous archaeological finds and well preserved walls, make Bettona a place rich in historical-artistic testimonies, a widespread museum that extends throughout the territory. Its palaces, once splendid residences, its breathtaking views, its finely adorned churches and oratories, and its municipal museum, are an compulsory stop for tourists, scholars and enthusiasts.

The Museum

Placed in Piazza Cavour, the Museum of the City of Bettona is set on the contingency of Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Biancalana. The first was built in 1371 as part of the city reconstruction ordered by the cardinal and papal legate Egidio Albornoz; the second was built in neoclassical style on owner Francesco Biancalana’s project after the second half of the Nineteenth Century.



Marble head of Aphrodite, II sec. A.D


The collection, deeply rooted in local history, includes two distinct sections, both of great value: an archaeological and a pictorial one.
The archaeological section of the Museum makes the exhibition start, testifying the territory’s origins. It includes Etruscan artifacts, a large number of architectural crockery, funeral and border caskets, ceramics, sculptural works of the late Hellenistic period and Roman marbles.
Among the most remarkable pieces of the collection there is a magnificent marble head of Aphrodite dating back to the middle of the Imperial Age, discovered in 1884 in the agricultural land owned by the Bianconi family; stolen in 1987, it was found then in New York in 2001.
Jewels and other finds found in the tomb of the Colle, the burial chamber discovered in 1913, are instead exposed to the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria in Perugia.
The renovation work of the pavement of Piazza Cavour has shown an ancient monumental well dating back to the end of the Fifteenth Century; it is a circular plant made by squared stone rocks. Interesting
are also the remains of an underground masonry and a Roman road.

The Picture Gallery

The Town Picture Gallery occupies, on the other hand, the Fourteenth Century Palazzo del Podestà and some rooms of Biancalana family’s residence.
The collection, which dates back to 1904, includes different kind of pieces, all close to local history. The Picture Gallery houses about sixty works, mostly pictorial, such as: the Saint Anthony of Padua and the Madonna della Misericordia with the saints Stefano, Girolamo and clients by Pietro Vannucci called “Il Perugino“, two precious fourteenth-century miniature chorales, St. Michael the Archangel of Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, a polychrome wood crucifix attributed to Agostino di Duccio, the monumental altarpiece with the Madonna in glory and Saints by Jacopo Siculo, a tabernacle with Christ and Evangelists attributed to Domínikos Theotokópoulos better known as “El Greco“, Saints Peter and Paul by Giuseppe Ribera known as “Lo Spagnoletto“, an in the round glazed earthenware depicting St. Anthony of Padua, inspired by the eDella Robbia, and a wonderful table with the Adoration of the Shepherds of the artist Dono Doni from Assisi, fast restored after the earthquake of October 2016. The intervention, funded by the Uffizi Gallery, was lead intra moenia through the creation of a restoration laboratory visible to everyone.
Inside the Museum, there are also active educational services with a quality teaching offer that combines the artistic rigor of collections with a creative atmosphere. Art, play and creativity used to communicate to the new generations the importance that art has in the social and anthropological development of each one of us.



The Picture Gallery

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.

what to see nearby lake trasimeno

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

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