Carnia Musei Network Gathers Museums Throughout the Carnia region.

Carnia Musei is a network that brings together the most significant exhibits throughout the region of Carnia, situated in the western mountains of Friuli.

The network Carnia Musei was founded in 1998, and it was subsequently expanded with the participation of more and more museums and institutions.

The museums, private collections and permanent exhibitions are usually based in historical residences, in villages and towns that are now better known thanks to this network that allows them to be more visible. They offer visitors effective cultural sightseeing choices, often of high quality – and the fact that they are often little known to the general public adds to their charm and uniqueness.

The ultimate goal is to allow these small but precious museums and collections to be more widely known and appreciated by those who feel a pull to discover the culture, traditions and environmental features of this territory.

Conventions, seminars, contemporary exhibitions and workshops add to the traditional study activities carried out by these institutions – all helpful tools for the valorization of the local heritage and the raising of cultural awareness throughout the Carnia region.

The main aim of the current page is to give a general presentation of the Carnia Musei Museum Network, and it is conceived like a 'sorting' hub from which to access other individual pages which hold further and more detailed information about the single museums, the buildings where they are hosted, and the towns and villages where they are located.

The main museums of the network are the Etnographic Museum of Popular Art in Tolmezzo, the Archeological Museum in Zuglio, the Geological Museum in Ampezzo, the Museum of Modern Art in Treppo Carnico and the Historical Museum on Carnia during WW1 in Timau (Paluzza municipality).

The smaller collections are listed below; a link is provided to either the locality, the museum or both – whenever there is a relevance to the content of this website.

– The Ethnographic Centre in Sauris di Sopra illustrates through temporary exhibitions the most significant aspects of daily life in the Lumiei valley, whose inhabitants have been living in a secluded environment for several centuries;

– The Historical Museum, hosted by the rectory in Sauris di Sotto, documents through items of historical and religious value the relationship that ties the inhabitants of the Lumiei valley to the German speaking communities in the Lesachtal and Pustertal, and the story of their relationship;

– The Davanzo Picture Gallery in Ampezzo collects the most significant works of the local landscape painter Marco Davanzo. This exhibition allows one to follow all the stages of his artistic production;

– The “Preone 200 Million Years” exhibition and museum – and the related naturalistic walk outside the village of Preone – illustrate the naturalistic aspects of this territory, with particular reference to paleontology;

– The Mine Museum in Cludinico (part of Ovaro municipality) shows the importance of the coal mine for this little community, since it employed up to 1,600 people over the last two centuries. The mine – located near the village – can be visited, and one of its sections is still fully equipped;

– The Wood and Venetian Sawmill Museum in Aplis (Ovaro) illustrates the stages of the wood industry chain – from forest to the final processing. The imposing mechanism of the “Venetian-style” sawmill can be directly activated by the visitor. Close by, it is possible to visit a Fauna Studies Exhibition, with a wide collection of over 100 specimens mostly belonging to the local fauna;

– The Mulin dal Flec in Illegio is a water mill dating to the 17th century, still in excellent working conditions (the village, by the way, is notable also for the interesting exhibitions – usually centered around a religious art theme – that take place every year);

– The Gorto Parish Church Museum in Ovaro was established to document the history of this important building from an archeological, historical, artistic and religious point of view;

– The watch-making museum in Pesariis tells the story and the development of this peculiar form of craftsmanship, which marked the history of this small town since the 17th century.

In Pesariis there is also the Bruseschi House: ever since the 1600s this has been the Bruseschi family’s residence, in one of the most ancient and characteristic villages of Carnia. The house still holds its original furnishings, with household tools of great value and effect;

– The Ethnographic collection “Cemùot chi èrin” – which, in the local variant of the language of Friuli, means “The Way We Were” – is a collection designed to show environments and themes tied to the traditional trades and crafts (see below);

– The Art Park in Verzegnis is an outdoor park displaying the contemporary work of internationally renowned artists of the Italian “Arte Povera” movement, plus representatives of Land Art and Minimalism;

– The so-called “Polse di Cougnes”, by the Parish church in Zuglio, is a small botanic and herb garden, also with local species, open to visitors during summertime; of particular interest are the edible and officinal plants. Close by is also an astronomical observatory;

– The “Farie di Checo” in Cercivento is a blacksmiths forge dating back to the 15th century. It shows, through tools and hydraulic mechanisms still in good working conditions, all the stages of iron processing;

– The Nativity crib in Teno (“Presepe di Teno”), in Sutrio, is an extraordinary example of woodcarving craftsmanship applied to the representation of the Nativity. A visit is possible all year round, but around Christmas time it is surrounded by a full collection of other Nativity scenes (the “Borghi e Presepi” exhibition);

– The Mozartina in Paularo – located inside the atmospheric 17th century Palazzo Scala – is an evocative collection of ancient and modern musical instruments, still in perfect working conditions;

– The Torre Moscarda in Paluzza is a guard tower dating to the 14th century, which can be visited during summertime together with the nearby museum and a small botanic garden.

A few additional notes on some of the Carnia Musei network collections:

(Please note: the following material will be redirected to the relevant pages as they become available in the future)

The Ethnographic Collection in Forni Avoltri

The Ethnographic collection “Cemùot chi èrin” – which, in the melodious local variant of the Friulano spoken in Forni Avoltri, means “The Way We Were” – is designed to show environments and themes tied to traditional trades and crafts.

The language of Forni Avoltri managed to conserve itself intact for centuries, with words that were often lost in other localities, and as the language maintained the links with its origins, so do the ethnographic collections express the desire to pass on to future generations a sense of the “way we were”. This is achieved mainly through small traces of history and evidence of how people used to live traditionally in this remote corner of Carnia.

The very genesis of this museum shows the desire to bear witness to the popular culture of this region as expressed in Forni Avoltri. Interestingly, the museum was born almost by chance: in the winter of 1992 some villagers had decided to make some embellishments to the hamlet of Cjamp by creating a few dummies (‘pupazzi’ in Italian) for an open-air crib.

After the Christmas period, though, the will prevailed to follow this initiative up: the ‘pupazzi’ were then transferred by the ex-town hall – one of the most ancient and atmospheric buildings in Forni Avoltri – while other objects, pieces of furniture and working tools were gathered around them, so to recreate with sensitivity and precision the daily rituals of this community since the 1800s and up to the period following WW2.

This exhibition has been researched and organized through the collection of items according to specific themes: kitchen, bedroom, “malga” (dairy farming) and hay-making, other trades, “wedding trousseau”.

The kitchen and the bedroom illustrate the main moments in the daily life of a family, with customs, habits and rituals; the dairy farm, hay-making and other trades show instead the main activities on which the economic and social life of this mountain village was based. In the kitchen, ordinary family life is reconstructed, as it unfolds through pieces of furniture and objects showing rhythms and activities of a past steeped in everyday difficulties and small joys, while in the bedroom we admire a reconstruction of old furniture: the highlight here is an old bed with wood marquetry. Other trades and domestic activities are shown mainly through working tools. Lastly, the exhibition is completed by a display of wedding trousseaus, all of which are embroidered by hand.

To know more, the website provides useful and updated information on all educational and cultural activities and events, as well as on temporary exhibitions.

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