While there are many museums celebrating the art, history and culture of Italy, there are also museums that are a little more unusual and are focused on rather more obscure aspects of Italian history. Here are some of the most unusual and weird museums in Italy.
The accordion, or ‘fisarmonica’ as they are called in Italian, is a musical instrument at the heart of Italian culture and is often the instrument of choice for folk music. The accordion industry is usually associated with Castelfidardo and it is there you will find a museum dedicated to the history of accordions. The museum boasts over 150 accordion models from 22 different countries around the world. There is also a workshop display that shows how accordions are constructed.
Barolo is the capital of Le Langhe wine country, so there really is no better place for a corkscrew museum. There are over 500 corkscrews on display here from every corner of the globe. The museum is located in an old wine cellar and there are examples made from every material and depicting all shapes forms and models. The earliest examples are from the 1600s and a visit will teach you how this humble tool has evolved to the present day.
This Florentine museum is the official Museum of Zoology and Natural History. Inaugurated in 1775, this is the oldest scientific museum in Europe. Among the collections you can see here are minerals, fossils, exotic plants and preserved animals. However, the museum is most famous for its collection of anatomical waxes.
Ferentillo is a small village in Valerina, southern Umbria, that holds a dark secret. Many bodies in the crypt below the local church have become naturally mummified due to the air flow and unique soil. These bodies were discovered in the 1800s and the crypt has now become a museum for visitors to see the mummies for themselves. This is definitely not an attraction for the faint-hearted.
Most people do not give everyday household objects too much thought but this museum is devoted entirely to the history of taps. This is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to this humble object. The Tap Museum is situated in Novara where taps have been produced since the mid-nineteenth century and the focus is just as much about the economic development of the area because of this industry as it is about the taps themselves.
The Museum of Criminology
Located in Rome and run by the Ministry of Justice, the themes for this museum are crime and punishment. The museum is housed in a building that was originally Palazzo del Gonfalone, a juvenile penitentiary. Some of the collections include Italian criminal justice artifacts and torture devices. There are also exhibitions relating to forensic science and criminal anthropology.
If you have the time and are within the vicinity of any of these museums, they are well worth a visit. They will add an interesting and unusual element to your vacation itinerary.
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