Craft Museums

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Armeno: Museum of Hospitality


This museum has a unique collection of memoirs, fragments of life, testimonies, preserved over the years by hoteliers, waiters and cooks around the world, kept as evidence of their activities. Armeno is famous for being the home of the hoteliers, not only that, a historical legend tells that this town learnt the art of "managing of the house" and "table serving" the Lombard nobles who, in order to escape the plague that broke out in the 17th century, moved to Armeno.
In the museum you can see items of work such as, kitchen tools, photographs, collections of vintage newspapers, menus of famous meetings, books and rare books of recipes along with many other documents that make this place an authentic jewel of originality and suggestiveness.

Open: July and August









			  
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Gignese: The Umbrella and Parasol Museum


The Gignese Museum is the only one in the world devoted to umbrellas and parasols; its collection comprises over a thousand examples of umbrellas, parasols and handles. Some items are curiosities, or of considerable historical and cultural importance, like the umbrellas that belonged to Queen Margherita of Savoy or the Risorgimento patriot and politician Giuseppe Mazzini. The showcases display finely made and exquisitely decorated umbrellas, which visitors will find intriguing and ravishingly pretty. The section devoted to the life of the umbrella-makers includes photographs of pioneer craftsmen, rudimentary tools from workshops of the past, and the tools that the umbrella makers/menders used when they plied their trade in the streets of Italy and throughout the world. The Museum takes us on a journey through a corner of history, full of images and memorabilia of an ancient trade that the local umbrella makers took successfully all over the world.





Boleto: Stonemason Museum

Boleto is a village that lays on top of a granite formation. The new museum was born from the desire to enhance a profession that, for about two centuries, characterized this area above Lake Orta.
The main interest of the Museum is focused on the hard and dangerous work of the stonecutters, who worked in the early 19th century, involving the ups and downs of many families and local communities. The Museum displays tools, manufactured articles, documents, but above all, it "tells", through videos and historical and iconographical researches, the stonemason's profession, in which the inhabitants of this area were famous masters all over the world.
The "migliarolo" of Alzo, a particular granite, was considered, in the times of its highest extractive expanssivity, the best white granite in Europe. The handmade products patiently carved by the stonemasons were exported all over the world and still today they adorn streets and houses of many towns.
Besides the museum, it is also possible to visit, in the hamlet of Centonara, an ancient millstone for hemp and nut processing: a recently restored building that testifies a characteristic activity of the area, and where it is possible to admire one of the many granite handmade product carved by our stonemasons.

Open: July and August and first Sunday in winter months












San Maurizio d'Opaglio: The Tap Museum



The Tap Museum, with its unique exhibits, does not only trace the history of San Maurizio d'Opaglio and surrounding district, famous for and specialised in the manufacture of taps and valves but, above all, displays the many themes relating to the purifying of water and the use of water sources which the technology of the tap has always had to face. The Museum chronicles the social history of water and the innovations which allowed to dominate it, transforming the cure of the body from an élite practice into a mass phenomenon.
Reconstructing the history of the tap and fittings industry in the Novara area means reconstructing the social and industrial history of Italy in the post-unification era.