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Musei di Prato e Provincia

Museum of vine and wine

History and purpose

The Museum of Vine and Wine, was opened in 1999 and concluded a project started in 1992. Access by the Pro Loco tourist information office.
The museum aims to promote the quality of wine from Carmignano and tells the story how the inhabitants of this thriving town did to take it to the level of today.

It is also a museum about the rural culture and about sharecropping (mezzadria), which was a characteristic Tuscan institute.
The gallery offers this blast from the past to trace production techniques end the history of the wine, made mostly from people who have allowed this miracle. 


History of the Carmignano Wine

The Carmignano Wine has a long tradition. The Etruscans and Romans knew and appreciated the wine of these places, as evidenced by founds in the necropolis on the Montalbano.
Than during the Middle Ages and the introduction of sharecropping, the landscape and way to produce wine changes.
In 1716 the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici issued an edict which gave rise to the denomination of controlled origin ante literam.
In the fifteenth century the famous merchant of Prato Datini will praise the wine of these hills and thanks to him the wine will be exported, a policy continued in the eighteenth century by Filippo Mazzei who will take the wine of Carmignano to England. 
Finally we must mention the poet D’Annunzio who cites the quality of this wine and the wineries Niccolini in his writings, to give an overall picture that makes you understand the importance and the quality of the wine acquired in these centuries.

The Museum

The access corridor that the visitor must pass through to enter the first room features a reproduction of a row of a vineyard, a work of the seventeenth century by Bartolomeo Bimbi (the original is preserved in the Villa Medici in Poggio a Caiano). With this painting he wanted to make a kind of census of the vines.
Many of them not exist anymore, while others have evolved or crossed with other examples. The panels represent respectively 37 and 38 different types of grapes. 
The first and also other rooms of the museum are located in the spaces once belonging to the wineries Noccolini. So the visitor enters the room dedicated to local wine production. The background is made by a fresco by Bimbi and a part of the exhibition housed in the Museum is a private collection of over 800 bottles of wine belonging to Federico Melis, expert of Italian and European wines.

Following the museum’s path you enter in another room that illustrates the history of Carmignano and of the inhabitants. In fact, the walls are hung with cultural attractions that the city offers, like the ancient Rocca, the evidence of the Medici and its beautiful landscape. 
In this room are also exposed the vessels that contained the wine for centuries: the Etruscan krater, the medieval pitcher and our flask.

In a mixture of ancient and modern there are other rooms of the museum, some host the history of the place of birth of the Carmignano wine, the great Barco Reale that delimited the territory in antiquity, accompanied by maps showing the area of Montalbano today. The exhibition continuous with relics of rural history and ancient maps of farms that still exists today. Thanks them we can understand the transformation of the territory for centuries shaped by man, with particular attention to the period from the end of 1700 until the eighties. In fact, a factor of great importance has been the technique of “sharecropping”, actively involved in the transformation of the territory, which was for someone the way to increase the productivity of the land. 
Interesting are the testimony of the elderly who lived the rural Carmignano. They relive those passed moments to pass on the old crafts otherwise forgotten. 

A part of the third room is dedicated to the Swiss ethnologist Paul Scheuermeier. In the period between 1919 and 1930 he collected images and stories about peasant culture, customs of the place and the tools. Today the museum hosts some copies of his photos, depicting the cycles of production of wine, some drawings by Paul Bosch and on the walls we find some tools pictured in the photos. 
On the opposite side of the room, always in keeping with the close relationship that the museum wanted to emphasize between ancient and modern, we find other photos taken by Victor Cintolesi between 1980 and 1990, showing the decline of the sharecropping world. Each photo ha a caption taken from poems written by some of the greatest figures of our history as Esiodo, Catone, Leonardo da Vinci.

The fourth room hosts a small virtual library that aims to promote and emphasize the importance of the wine of Carmignano, the edict of Grand Duke Cosimo III that established strict and precise rules on its production anticipating the contents of today’s DOC and DOCG, which won the wine of Carmignano in 1975 and 1990.
Next to the wine, always in the room, they are exposed other important and famous products of Carmignano: his Figs (dried and hung), the olive trees which produce a very appreciated oil.

In the last room another part of the bottles of Meli’s collection is displayed in this room.


Addresses and contacts

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
, 2
- 59015
Phone: 055 8712468
Fax: 055 8711455
Opening time ALL THE YEAR
From Tuesday to Friday and every first Sunday of the month (excluding August) 9.30 / 12.30 and 15.00 / 18.00
Saturday 9.30 / 12.30
Summer opening time
Tickes: free entrance.
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Data ultima revisione dei contenuti della pagina: luned 18 luglio 2016

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