Reopens the Ethnographic Museum of Cervo in the castle of Clavesana




Detail of the ethnographic museum

Territory

Reopens the Ethnographic Museum of Cervo in the castle of Clavesana




July 5, 2020

Finally Cervo comes back to life.  After months of silence, its alleys are once again home to visitors and onlookers in search of comfort in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. But Cervo has not only the Piazza dei Corallini from which to enjoy spectacular sunsets. Recently, in fact, also the Museum Pole Castle of Clavesana has reopened, with a new management by the Proloco Cervo project. In this article we invite you to follow us on our journey through time.

Ancient crafts at the ethnographic museum

Where is the Museum Pole of Cervo

Arriving to the village from the northern walls and passing the entrance door that leads to Piazza Santa Caterina, we find on the left the ancient Castle of Clavesana. This building, which was the home of the powerful family of the Marquises Clavesana from the 13th century, had the purpose of defending Cervo from the numerous Saracen raids of the time. To build the castle, it was decided to incorporate an older tower, probably of Byzantine origin. It lived several lives: transformed into an Oratory dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, it was then used as a hospital.

Today, its imposing figure is barely softened by the presence of plants that today decorate the facade. The grey stone of the castle dominates the small square, where it overlooks in an imaginary embrace the tables of the cafés and bars open until late.

Museum entrance inside the Clavesana Castle

The permanent exhibition "Women of Liguria"

A few steps and you enter the museum. Structured on two levels, immediately on the first floor the building houses a meeting room where the exhibition, curated by Nanda De Marchi (vice-president of the Arcadia an Association in Diano Marina) "Women of Liguria - A century of history 1850/1950" is set up. Inside showcases running along the whole room there are scenes of life in miniature. Here live about 200 dolls dressed in traditional Ligurian clothes. Like little women of the past, they depict well-defined models and social statuses that have now disappeared.

A doll with the ancient mesero

The exhibition is interesting not only to understand the long path women have travelled during a century of history, through the evolution of clothes and habits, but also because it gives us the opportunity to know almost unknown details. We discover, for example, that the life of women in Liguria, especially in the rural environment, was conducted largely outdoors. It was an existence marked by fatigue, but also characterized by a strong sociality. It seems to see them, the Ligurian women of a century ago, exchanging advice, information and why not, joking with each other in the most cheerful moments.

In this life there was certainly no lack of space for beauty, where clothes were made at home after long hours of work at the spindle and loom. The luckier and more fashionable ones could wear wonderful shawls like the "mesero", the traditional hand-printed headdress with ornamental motifs taken from the Orient. Over time, the "mesero" was replaced by hats, scarves, until the 50s, when women began to show their hair loose and discover their bodies on the beach.

The view from the terrace of the Ethnographic Museum

The Ethnographic Museum of Western Liguria

After an obligatory break at the panoramic terrace, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the village and the sea, the route proceeds down to the ground floor, where the real ethnographic museum is located. This part of the exhibition is perhaps the most emotionally involving.

Objects exhibited at the ethnographic museum of Cervo

Immediately a scenario opens up on 19th century life. The rooms are packed with objects, demonstrating how full the days were at the time. There is space for every aspect of the industrious life of our ancestors: peasant tools and craftsmen, but also toys, sheet music, books and study notebooks, more easily destined for the children of middle-class families.

Detail of an ancient writing desk and inkwell

Looking around the various rooms we still find clothes, jewellery and furnishings arranged as in a theatrical setting. Immersed in such a scenography, it almost seems that everything has to come back to life from one moment to the next. One can almost hear the papier-mâché cobbler sewing the soles of his clients' shoes, the cry of the doll that lives in the wooden cradle, or a distinguished woman claiming her portrait.

Shoes of a shoemaker on display at the ethnographic museum

The Museum Pole awaits you every day, except Mondays, from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 20.00. The cost of the ticket is 3,00 €.

Some vintage photos at the ethnographic museum

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