"A mirror of the population and its history"


A walk through time and space.
Since the museum contains various types of materials from nature, whose range includes archaeological finds, photographic and sound records, objets d'art, and model reconstructions, the layout has been organized in sections, with appropriate materials and objects selected and arranged in each section. Behind the museum’s exhibitions is an emphasis on human interactions with the environment and on the corresponding ways of organizing the district that have occurred in the past and up until today.
Although part of the overall museum tour, each section is, simultaneously complete in and of itself. This autonomy allows the necessary flexibility of display methods and lets the public enjoy the museum’s variety and distinction according to one’s individual interests. To date, sixteen sections have been completed: fifteen plus the entrance hall (Environment and History) that has a coordinating role.
The museum there is spread over sixteen sections on two floors of the building.

- Geological, environmental, and natural features; population dynamics; and the defining settlement system of castles, villages, churches, villas and farms provide a specific orientation to topics/themes that have marked the territory and local communities.
- Resulting from the Medici princes’ patronage and the local populace’s devotion, the art treasures collected in the Shrine of Maria SS. della Fontenuova are associated to the miraculous event that led to Monsummano Basso’s foundation.
- The experimental science of Galileo Galilei and his students and the connection between astronomical studies and maps were translated into the territory’s new culture, developed in Tuscany during the Enlightenment and effectively applied to land reclamation operations in the Valdinievole and beyond.

- The interaction between humans and natural resources has unwound along parallel paths that take a look at the trades particularly related to a lakeside economy, like the weaving of sarello (reeds), and the elite activities at the Grotta Giusti thermal springs.
- Communal misfortunes and migrations, industry and urbanization are the markers that characterized the progression of the 1900s, the age of extremes, in an active debate between the national scene and the local situation, in a sign of the identities of these places.

Geology and Paleontology

In addition to fossils, various rock samples have been collected from the Monsummano hill. Particular attention has been given to the marbles that, since the Middle Ages, have been used extensively in important buildings, like the red marble used to decorate the Florentine churches of S. Maria del Fiore and S. Maria Novella as well as Pistoia’s Church of Our Lady of Humility and the golden travertine used in the loggia of Monsummano’s Osteria dei Pellegrini....

Environment and History

The section serves as a general introduction to the museum, with information on the natural and environmental history, population dynamics, the organization of productive activities, and the history of settlements. Accordingly, varied types of objects have been identified that are considered important to those time periods central to the history of the city and the territory.This section revolves around a 3-D reconstruction of the area surrounding the Padule of Fucecchio. Using an interactive system of lights, it is possible to...

Ancient and Medieval Archaeology

The area’s population dynamics from proto-historic era to the Middle Ages are documented here. During the Etrusco-Roman era, Valdinievole was primarily a transit area in which some stopping places of a sacred nature are evidenced by the bronze statue of Hercules Promachos from the III century B.C., found in 1887 at Castelmartini. Documenting the Roman presence in the foothills of Montalbano are pottery and brick finds from the large archaeological complexes of Villa San Paolo at Pozzarello, of Vaiano, and...

The Padule of Fucecchio

A collection of iconographic materials document the Padule’s historical geography since the beginning of the XVI century. Moreover, particular attention has been given to the various uses of the lake basin from a natural resources point of view (reeds and fishing) as well as for the commercial accessibility organized around the numerous ports entering the waterway that connected the Arno Valley and the sea. The lake-marsh’s importance is evidenced by the two boats used for navigating the marshlands: an authentic...

The Grand-ducal Farms and Valdinievole Felix

The grand-ducal farms. Maps and image collections show the structure and characteristics of the grand-ducal farms that were distributed around the lake-marsh, forming the estates of Ponte a Cappiano, Altopascio, Montevettolini Stabbia, Bellavista, Terzo, and Castelmartini. Moreover, the types of buildings in relation to the location and other productive activities that took place there have also been identified. Cultivation work and the spread of agricultural activities are made evident by the displays of work tools.Valdinievole Felix. Documents and iconographic materials...


Museum of the city and territory
Piazza Ferdinando Martini 1
Monsummano Terme PISTOIA
tel. +39 0572 954463


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