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“Giuseppe Fontana” Ethnographic Museum

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The aim of the museums of Sappada is to raise the profile of its historical, linguistic and environmental identity:the interconnected museums, in fact, cover different and complementary aspects of local life.

“Giuseppe Fontana” Ethnographic Museum

In the nineteen sixties and seventies, the teacher Giuseppe Fontana wanted to end the dispersal of the cultural heritage of Sappada and began to collect a number of objects, such as agricultural tools and household implements in daily use, which led to the creation of an Ethnographic Museum, housed in a building in Bach village since 1972.On his death in 1975, the ethnographic museum was named after him and, since then, the collections have been supplemented (in 1999, a geological and paleontological section was added).In 2009, the collections were extended and transferred to new premises in Cima Sappada.

The "Giuseppe Fontana” Ethnographic Museum covers everything from the natural environment to the identity of the community which settled and prospered there.The visitor is introduced to the geology, flora and fauna of the valley of Sappada, which was first inhabited in the Middle Ages; a history section explores the origins and the history of the people of Sappada to the present day.The ethnographic collections show how the environment shaped the customs:the relative isolation of the past, the particular climatic conditions, together with the unique identity of the community as an island of German-speakers, favoured a more or less self-sufficient way of life, with the development of the so-called “culture of wood”.Eloquent witnesses of this are the architectural types in the valley, the images of the era, the display of work and leisure clothing and objects of daily use in the domestic environment, which tell of the simple but hard existence of the people of Sappada. The main hall houses the tools of agro-forestry-pastoral and craft work:from the wood-cutter, the display moves to a section dedicated to snow, then the shepherd, the barn, the haystack and agricultural works, transport and the craftsmanship of the wheelwright, blacksmith, carpenter and finally the shoemaker, tailor and weaver. At the centre of museum, as it was at the centre of life in Sappada, there is a section illustrating popular religious sentiment at the most significant times of the liturgical year. The visit ends with the Carnival masks (vosenòcht), among which the austere figure of Rollate stands out.

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Update: June 22, 2020


46.569044, 12.720813
46°34'08.6"N 12°43'14.9"E
33T 325337 5159798
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“Giuseppe Fontana” Ethnographic Museum

Borgata Cima Sappada
32047 Sappada
Phone 0435 469131

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