Museums are often seen as a container of artworks that gives us the chance to plunge into the past. If you pay attention to their origins, you will realize that those memories have made it to our time thanks to the willingness of academics and researchers, who spent a good part of their lives trying to create itineraries made of artworks. This is the case of the collections of the Museo delle Cappuccine of Bagnacavallo or the devotional ceramics at Museo di San Rocco in Fusignano.
There is another way to safeguard the past, which is not limited to objects or tangible evidence, but also preserves values, related to people or events.
An example of this type is Museo Baracca in Lugo, which shows visitors the life of the sky hero, or Casa Varoli in Cotignola, a space full of creative spirit, and Casa Museo di Vincenzo Monti in Alfonsine, the place where the poet was born and lived, as well as being the place where he gave life to part of his literary work.
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The Order of the Cloistered Capuchin Sisters, in Bagnacavallo since the end of 18th century, stayed in this large convent until the end of the 1970s. With the disappearance of the religious institution, the Municipality bought the entire complex and converted it into a cultural centre for its citizens. It hosted the Taroni Library and the first group of artworks which would become the Museo Civico delle Cappuccine in 2008.
The exhibition is organized into different sections. The collection of ancient artworks, mainly paintings, which cover a time window stretching from the 13th century, with the Scuola Riminese’s fresco fragment representing the Franciscan St Lodovico da Tolosa, until the end of the 19th century.
Another section is dedicated to modern and contemporary figurative arts, among which are two local artists: Edgardo Saporetti and Giuseppe Rambelli.
A common thread between the beginning of the 20th century and the period after the Second World War is the section dedicated to painter Enzo Morelli (1896-1976).
The modern and contemporary art section hosts a relevant collection of sculptures in bronze, plaster, terracotta and marble made by some of the most famous sculptors of the 20th century, among which: a prized bronze head, Enfant juif by master sculptor Medardo Rosso and Giacomo Manzù’s bronze bas-relief showing the Deposition from the Cross.
Since 1990, the Gabinetto delle Stampe Antiche e Moderne (Cabinet of ancient and modern prints) has displayed a very rich collection of graphic works (more than a thousand papers), from Dürer up to contemporary authors. Besides the Fondo Incisioni Contemporanee (Fund of contemporary incisions) contains a collection of around 11,000 papers received as a donation from individual authors.
An entire generation’s artists from our province met and trained in Master Luigi Varoli’s house in Cotignola. These rooms can take the visitor into the atmosphere of the artist’s house, inhabited by animal skulls, quiet puppets, plaster casts, musical instruments, masks, photos of the beginning of the 20th century, votive offerings, wooden crucifixes, ancient furniture and a little but precious library, where Depero Dinamo’s book is the highlight.
These rooms were also a favourable context for political debate: new ideas and desire for freedom were among the favourite topics. In confirmation of this, during the dark years of the Fascist government’s racial laws, many Jews saved their lives inside these walls: Varoli’s heroic gesture, symbolizing civil and humanitarian engagement, allowed him to receive the title of Righteous among Nations.
An artist with great human sensitivity, he played the important role of “preserver of the community’s memories”: in his house and yard he collected and protected works of art, furniture, common-use objects and archaeological findings.
The main museum attraction is Baracca’s plane, SPAD VII S2489, of French manufacturing (1917) in such a position as to give the idea of flying. There are also some finds of knocked-down planes, examples of the most modern technologies of the time.
Baracca’s legend is shown through letters, newspapers and several publications. You can also discover the Hero’s private life, with the reconstruction of his bedroom, some of his personal objects, such as his medal collection, some certificates and acknowledgements from 1915-1918, together with the words that Gabriele D’Annunzio pronounced by his coffin.
Through Lugo you can follow an itinerary dedicated to Baracca, which starts from the Museum, then continues to Monumento all’Eroe (Monument to the Hero), designed and made by the sculptor from Faenza Domenico Rambelli, considered as one of the main expressions of Italian sculpture of the 20th century, and finishes at the city cemetery with the grave chapel, decorated by Roberto Sella from Lugo. Inside the chapel it is possible to admire the majestic sarcophagus cast with Austrian cannon bronze from Carso.
The ancient Hospital "Ospedale dei Poveri Infermi" of Fusignano, since 2001 has hosted the Museum where you can see the beautiful and abundant permanent collection of more than 200 devotional ceramics, a complex and rich source of information to reconstruct the history of popular devotion, from the 16th until the end of the 20th century. These pieces were traditionally placed above the entrance door, especially in the countryside, to ask Mary and other Saints to protect the house.
You can also discover the history of Fusignano and its origins thanks to the new exhibition.
In the countryside in Alfonsine the house where Vincenzo Monti (1754-1828) was born hosts the museum dedicated to the poet. He was a high representative of Italian Neoclassicism, translator of Homer and Voltaire, researcher and reformer of the Italian language, an all-round man of culture who lived in a historical time shaken by exceptional political events.
The “cradle room” displays some original furniture among which the cradle of the poet’s family stands out, the document room, with a collection of original editions of the poet’s work, and the Sala Montiana was set up in 1928 on the occasion of the first centenary of the poet’s death.