Ecomuseums and Ethnographic trails. A journey through tradition
A journey through the region to explore the rich traditional heritage of Trentino.
For a child visiting the ethnographic Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina (Museum of the Customs and Traditions of the Trentino People) in San Michele all'Adige, it is rather like following in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland. When you approach the enormous water-based machinery including a water mill, hammer and Venetian sawmill, you suddenly feel very small. When you observe the details of the reduced-scale models, for example, of the mountain dairy, you feel like a giant. Adults are also amazed and captivated by the wealth of exhibits at the museum, the large number of sections and topics, as well as detailed descriptions of the daily life of farmers and shepherds, woodworking, ceramics and how these ingenious machines work. All visitors are aware of the inventiveness and almost childlike curiosity of the founder, the great ethnographer Giuseppe Šebesta, who not only dismantled these objects, just like children do in order to understand how they are made, but also recreated all the stages
in making them. For example, in the showcases we can see how a lump of iron becomes a spade or a lump of copper a pot. All the processing stages are clearly illustrated and do not require lengthy captions: the field, sowing seeds, harvesting, the mill etc.
Discovering the rich traditional heritage of Trentino continues with a visit to the Ecomuseums of the Judicaria, Viaggio, the Val di Peio, Vanoi, Lagorai, Argentario and the Valle del Chiese, a "network" that covers the entire province and explores all the facets of the traditions and culture of this region. In these open-air museums that link the past to the future, the land with its people and culture replaces exhibition centres. The local inhabitants have chosen to embrace and enhance their roots, allowing visitors to leisurely explore the heart of Trentino, wandering through history, tradition and nature.