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  • Exterior of Museum of Rural Work and Civilization, San Gervasio di Palaia.zoom in altra finestra
  • Screw-operated mobile press,18th century, Museum of Rural Work and Civilization, San Gervasio di Palaia.zoom in altra finestra

Museo del Lavoro e della Civiltą Rurale di San Gervasio [San Gervasio Museum of Work and Rural Civilisation]

The museum, inaugurated in 1984, is situated in an eighteenth-century farmhouse. The material displayed is owned mainly by the Menichetti family which, even after the opening of the Museum, has continued to receive donations from other residents of the area. Since 1999 the museum has been the seat of the Club "Trattori d'epoca" [ "Vintage Tractors Club"] of the Province of Pisa. In 2002 a section dedicated to grapes and wine was inaugurated, and the "Gregorio Soldani" Documentation Centre was created, whose library contains texts dating from the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th. Some documents pertaining to the financial management of the farms, including sharecroppers' accounting records and receipts for payment, are displayed in the museum.

The collection includes instruments, dating from the late 18th to the middle of the 20th century, related to animal husbandry, weaving, the production of olive oil and wine, craftsmen's activities and daily life. Outside the museum, protected by a roofed shed, are displayed wagons, ploughs, coulters and mowing machines, as well as working farm machines, among them some "hot-head" tractors and a late nineteenth-century steam engine.

The Museum also contains a small naturalist collection, made up of specimens of fauna coming from schools in the territory.

During the first weekend of September, many of the farm machines are put in operation on the occasion of the Museum's annual "People's Festival".


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 07/feb/2008