A perfect long day of sightseeing, shopping and eating ended up with the rain, a light rain, a mist that makes you feel annoyed, damp and humid but you are not really wet, that type of rain that encourages to go somewhere warm, fun and take cover. Light attracts people. A feeble light illuminated the short sidewalk and the ancient artifacts surrounding the large glass door. Getting closer to the display outside, I thought we didn’t end up there by chance or because the light attracted us in a rainy night, Mimmo knew where he was taking us. Going through that glass door was like taking a dive into a different century.
A new world of rare tools and machineries of the past opened up before our eyes, rare treasures that would have been lost, if Dr. Vito Santoiemma, owner, had not collected for decades and cared for. In his passion to preserve the past, he collected objects of lost professions so old in time that some of them even go back to the Templars, such as the wheel for crushing wheat used in their daily life to make bread.
(Tomato Sauce Maker)
The Museum, a rare example of a rural civilization, arts and craft is located in Gioia Del Colle, a quaint town in Puglia, Italy, the town King Frederik II created in the 12th century. Dr. Vito Santoiemma found all the artifacts in private homes, cellars and abandoned factories, put them together without altering colors or shapes and dedicated a space that kept growing through decades. In this museum we can admire a rare wheel “Ingegna” to carry water from the well, we can learn how blacksmiths and cobblers worked together on producing decorative precious metals, offered utilitarian services of making shoes for horses and shaped saddles, or how they fixed wagons and trailers. The tools of their trades today have been replaced with mechanized machineries.
(Photography Cameras and tools)
Wool was carded with manual tools, which are still in excellent conditions, the wax section for candle making is complete of every little tool used, there are tools for the umbrella makers, the milk maker, for the knife sharpener, the town crier, but to find tools to repair clay dinnerware and cookware was a real discovery. The culture of “disposable society” had not been invented yet. One of these rare objects warmed up my heart: the baby blue ice cream cart with a blue and white striped canopy on bicycle wheels. It used to go around in the streets of Italy selling ice cream to kids. Now, It only exists in this Museum of rural civilization, arts and crafts, a unique and rare establishment of its kind that we want to preserve and carry through generations to come.
Without a past, we cannot have a future.
(Ice Cream Cart)
Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism and through stories of art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on