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.