Art and Popular Traditions Museum is housed in Palazzo Montanari: and ancient building on a rocky spur surrounded by nature, situated on the hill that divides in two the city centre. The nucleus of the current building originally was used, as we know from local historians, as a fort.
Later, in the 13th century , it was extended and used as a monastery for Benedictine nuns with the name of Santa Margherita in Paravento. The expansion works followed through the centuries until the current appearance of the building.
Father Angelo Montanari, taking advantage of a large sum of money gifted by a nun, in 1883 established here a women’s orphanage.
The building has three levels that overlook a colonnaded courtyard, renovated in 1980, with a rounded well where the Benedictine nuns drew the water coming from Saint Peter’s hill.
The idea for this project and the gathering of the materials (items, work tool, furniture etc.) came from Father Stefano Troiani in 1954, when the International Institute of Studi Piceni was created; the majority of the collection is due to the this collection.
The Museum was created in 1979 with the aim of reconnaissance, preservation and encouragement of the works of art of Sassoferrato’ arts and traditions.
In 1997, after the earthquake, the Museum was closed and it was re-opened completely renovated in May 2006.
Located in via Montanari, the Museum is accessible from the old town of Castello, starting from Matteotti’s square, continuing on Viale degli Eroi and Parco della Rimembranza: a short but beautiful natural itinerary.
Divided in six sections, the Museum is divided between the ground floor and the basement.
On the ground floor there are four sections: Cultivation of land (tillage, sowing); Processing of products (harvest, threshing); Household tasks (spinning, weaving); Means of transportation (wagon, carriage).
Each of these sections tries to ‘narrate’, through tools and symbolic items, the specific working and lifestyle’s methods typical of the most part of the population of Sassoferrato.
On the basement there are the other two sections: Domestic settings (furnace, storage room, pantry, bedroom, kitchen); Artisanal works (lathe turner, woodworker, knife grinder, woodcutter, shoemaker, cooper, metalworker, blacksmith, builder, pottery maker, rope maker, beekeeper).
These sections reproduce the atmosphere of the rural households and workshops through the furniture and items of that era.
The wide collection ( the 15 rooms of the exhibition store about 1,500 items) is extremely interesting from an ethnographic and anthropological point of view and reflects the anthropic and socio-cultural traits of the inhabitants of Sassoferrato, even though you can find also regional references.
Visits can be booked at the Tourist Office, max 24 hours in advance