Museum of Rural Civilization of Fratticciola
The museum of rural civilization of Fratticciola means to preserve and enhance the cultural, historical and ethnographical heritage of the rural world of Valdichiana. It gathers some material coming from the territory of Cortona and gives evidence of the daily life in our countryside showing all the poverty mixed with the heroic character of people until the 1960s and even afterwards. Farm implements, kitchenware, tools that have been nearly forgotten, but also remote smells and flavors reminding us of our roots and memories of a civilization that the youngest people unfortunately do not know. The fact of being aware of where we come from, of understanding our traditions, even the oldest ones, is the only revolutionary way to restore dignity to our stories and our grandparents’ memories, who were for the most part farmers and sharecroppers working for a landowner. Lives kept locked by the edges of their fields but maybe truer than ours because, as a Chinese proverb goes, truth is written on a grain of rice. A museum of rural civilization, more than risuscitating folk customs for folkloristic or philological reasons (good reasons no doubt), is thus an important way to regain ourselves and get to know the others and the world and possibly change it. In this museum rural ways, customs and traditions are brought back to life (with guided routes and the reconstruction of ancient jobs) and preserve intact all the fascination of the relationship between man, work and nature, which are hard and old like the stories of the people who have always lived in this territory. And for those who have never been and will never be peasants there is the chance to know the importance of an oral culture expressing itself through the most humble tools of the daily life: ploughs, jugs, carts, hoes, objects of a simple and conservative life, still like the cycles of the seasons, and the real life of people working the hard land.
The association “Il Carro”, which manages the museum, and the local authorities of Cortrona actively collaborate for the development and the enhancement of this museum, which is a point of reference in the territory of Cortona for its important valorization of demo-ethno and anthropological goods.
The museum is actually in its embryonic stages, but it already has the shape of a lively dydactic museum, which can be visited and catalogued. It is aimed at offering a knowledge of the rural world, through the tools, the means and the materials characterizing, so that it can make people rediscover a world that everyday risks to lose a piece of its history. This is the reason why it is necessary to restablish a contact with old practices and lifestyles, probably distant in time, but actually constituting the history of Valdichiana. A history of peasants, far away from the history of princes and grand dukes. This is a different way of seeing, reconstructing and considering the events and the life of this territory. The Comune di Cortona has promoted museum education over the years, without forgetting the part of our history that has strongly contributed to create our modern culture: the period of rural civilization bridging the 19th and the 20th centuries up to the industrial boom and the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
This commitment has joined the decennal involvement of the Association “Il Carro” of Fratticciola, which has actively wanted this collection of objects and this space, making them lively for more than thirty years with the “Mostra del carro agricolo” (an exhibition of farm wagons), which takes place every year in October. In the last few years, thanks to the collaboration of a team of experts, this small museum of a big history has organized a series of events to make it popular and to number it among the tourist and cultural attractions of Cortona.