The Fanchini Etnographic Museum

Oleggio Castello
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How to get

Novara - Arona A-road, Oleggio exit


Though he officially opened his museum in 1974, Signor Fanchini had actually been working since 1960 to create a structure capable of illustrating the traditions of his birthplace.

The museum is located in the building that used to be the local primary school, and was originally a 17th century monastery belonging to the Reformed Fathers, one of the many Italian religious orders that were once active but later suppressed by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The monastery and present day museum building was refurbished in the 19th century. The portico cloisters and the eastern corridor with its crossed vault ceilings stand out as parts of the early monastery, but nothing else of the original religious complex remains. So what can a visitor to the museum expect to see? The Fanchini folk museum illustrates the daily life of various classes of society in Oleggio and the surrounding area in years gone by. It shows how the houses of the poor and better off town folk were furnished, and also illustrates the tools used by local craftsmen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There is also a section on gold prospecting in the Ticino river, and on the collection of white pebbles for the ceramic industry. An accurate replica of a late 19th century kitchen shows how a typical rustic kitchen looked, with its central table, annexed bedroom and furnishings.

An attractive reproduction of a music room contains gramophones and organ cylinders. Finally, there is also an archaeological section to end your visit, displaying finds from digs in nearby Loreto supervised by the Department of Archaeological Heritage over the period 1988-1995. The finds from the Roman era were donated to the Fanchini museum to enhance the value of its offering.

More details

Always open
From Monday to Friday: 9 am - 12 pm
The first three Saturday of month from 3.30 pm until 6.30 pm
Last Sunday of month: from 3.30 pm until 6.30 pm

Price: free offer for individual visit
Guided tour: 3,00 €
Schools: 2,00 €