Just 45 minutes from Trieste is one of the most unusual and interesting museums I’ve seen. It is a museum dedicated to farm-life and the history of farming in the Friuli region.
The large and impressive collection of over 20,000 items (with more coming in every day) is housed in an old farmstead in the center of the small town of Aiello. It spans the period from the 1500s to 1918 and covers everything from Wine making, Transportation, Home-life, Farm machinery, Weights and Measures, Trades, and Women’s Crafts and even has a complete schoolroom from the turn of the century.
The sheer size of the museum is impressive and the way it is laid out is very enjoyable, with collections of items grouped together by subject so that you can clearly see their evolution over 5 centuries. Each one is quite fascinating, even though I never imagined I would find threshers or plows of particular interest!
Even more enjoyable are the rooms dedicated to trades and home life, with every aspect of those themes represented in the collection, from bee-keepers to woodworkers, from cooking to bed-making and tailoring. There is such a treasure trove of objects for each category that one walks away with a very clear picture of how country life was in those times.
There is a wing dedicated entirely to Women’s Crafts, which are mostly examples of needlework, scrapbooking, and lace making. However, there are also several items relating to modern inventions to make house work easier and trending beauty regimens and fashion.
The Museum also houses a library (primarily about Farming), two conference rooms and a Tavern called Tagli e Taglieri that offers good local food and wines. The restaurant also organizes special events that keep the museum’s courtyard buzzing with visitors who come to taste seasonal fare, take dancing lessons and attend music engagements.
The courtyard is also famous for the vast collection of sundials (21 in all) that show the evolution of time-keeping from ancient ones to more modern versions. The sundials are part of an itinerary throughout the city, which has 123 sundials scattered throughout, earning Aiello the title of “La Citta’ delle Meridiane” (The City of Sundials). There is an annual Sundial Festival, typically at the end of May.
Open Wednesday through Sundays 10:30-18:00
MUSEO DELLA CIVILTA’ CONTADINA DEL FRIULI IMPERIALE
via Petrarca 1 Aiello del Friuli (UD)
cell. +39/ 338 3534773