The Museum of the City and Territory in the heart of Monsummano Terme is housed in the ancient Osteria dei Pellegrini. The building was designed by the grand ducal architect Gherardo Mechini and built from 1607 onwards to accommodate devotees going to the Church of Maria SS. della Fontenuova. The Osteria maintained its function as a shelter until 1775, when it became the seat of the Comunità delle due Terre, an administrative structure that united the municipalities of Monsummano and Montevettolini. In 1833, the Chancellery was established there, and in 1855 the prison facilities, which remained there until the 1880s. On the ground floor, the Osteria also housed the Municipal Library in 1970. After a major consolidation and restoration, the Museum of the City and Territory was inaugurated in 1998 on the first and second floors of the building. A multi-purpose cultural centre, articulated and completed by the presence of the Municipal Historical Archive, a precious collection of documentation regarding the history of the territory. In 2016, the idea of a complex of functions at the service of the community took shape in the Mu.Bi. (a union of museum and library).
The Museum of the City and the Territory was conceived as a structure aimed at documenting and raising awareness of the territory in its various aspects. The museum itinerary begins on the first floor with a section devoted to palaeontology and territorial geology. The itinerary continues with the discovery of the ancient castles of Montevettolini and Monsummano Alto. The large model reconstructs the medieval appearance of the ancient village of Monsummano Alto. The exhibition is completed by the display of archaeological finds from local excavations. The Padule di Fucecchio is the protagonist of the section where the environment of the large marshy lake is reconstructed in an evocative manner, thanks to the presence of the navicello and the barchino, set up with ancient amphorae, sarello bushes and traditional fishing tools. The study area of the museum introduces the section "Knowing the sky to measure the earth" where the theme of the connection between astronomical studies and topographic surveying instruments that contributed, in the Tuscany of the Age of Enlightenment, to land reclamation operations in the Valdinievole and beyond is explored. The gallery space hosts an exhibition of ex voto and sacred ornaments from the Treasure of Maria SS. della Fontenuova. The most important piece is certainly the precious Crown. A jewel created by the Florentine Grand Ducal workshop and donated in 1608 to the Sanctuary by Ferdinand I.
The “Sky Room” or Galileo Room, dedicated to the father of modern science, is the perfect presentation of the digital planetarium, which offers the experience of observing the vault of heaven. The first floor is completed by the central hall, a space intended for temporary exhibitions. On the second floor, users can consult the Digital Photographic Archive, a collection of images that tell the story of the community, at the dedicated workstation. The exhibition then winds its way to the discovery of production activities and thermalism, identity elements of the territory. The room dedicated to footwear activity also reserves a space for the theme of emigration and immigration, a phenomenon that has decisively marked Monsummano Terme. An evocative section features the reconstruction of a corner of the Grotta Giusti with its limestone concretions. In the large multifunctional space of the Hall of Memory, the memory of the victims of the Massacre of the Padule di Fucecchio, one of the darkest pages in the history of our territory.
The Museo della Città e del Territorio is a museum of regional importance recognised by the Region of Tuscany.
Piazza Ferdinando Martini, 1
51015 Monsummano Terme PT