Built in the Palazzo Guicciardini located in the historic center of Montopoli in Val d´Arno, the Civic Museum was set up in the spring of 2003.
Since its foundation, its primary aim has remained that of collecting materials of interest and significance related to the archaeology, history, art or natural history from this area of the Province of Pisa so that it can play the role of a kind of visiting card that encourages people to rediscover the richness of its city centers and their surrounding area. It was for this reason that the Civic Museum was conceived of and structured as the primary hub of a future “Montopolese Museum System”, as part of which some of the other sites have already been built.
The Civic Museum is therefore structured in a variety of thematic sections that are located on the different floors of this ancient building. On the first floor, the Ancient Archaeology Section of the Museum exhibits the important Majnoni and Baldovinetti collections with its Etruscan, Roman and early medieval objects, part of which comes from local excavations. It also houses the personal collection and documents illustrating the life and work of Isidoro Falchi, a doctor from Montopoli and a passionate archaeologist, whose name is closely associated with the discovery of the Etruscan necropolises of Vetulonia and Populonia in the late 19th century.
There is also a section dedicated to the research of medieval and post-medieval archaeology in the Fortress of Montopoli, which has helped to shed new light on the art and history of the area after the year 1000 together with a series of coats-of-arms, stone fragments, frescoes and liturgical furnishings from prestigious city buildings, which are all displayed here.
A separate room is dedicated to the production of Montopoli artistic terracotta by Dante Milani. In 1923 Milani had the first of his ceramic kilns built in this area, which was soon accompanied by other artisan workshops, giving rise to a production of artistic ceramics that soon became famous in Europe and around the world. Between 1929 and 1943, the factory reached its maximum commercial development thanks to Milani’s evident talent at promoting his terracottas throughout Italy and abroad, especially through permanent exhibitions and resales in Montecatini, Turin, Rome and New York.
On the lower ground floor, there is a room dedicated to paleontology, with important fossil remains alongside temporary displays of materials dating back to Etruscan until Modern age, coming from the activities of the “Isidoro Falchi” Archaeological Group operating in this area.
Finally, a further section of the Museum is located on the first floor and is entirely dedicated to contemporary figurative arts, with works by local artists: Silvio Bicchi (1874—1948) a post-macchiaiolo (an Italian post-impressionist) painter; Menotti Pertici (1904—1966) and Mario Borgiotti (1906—1977), students of the Bicchi; Paolo Ciampini (b. 1941) an internationally renowned engraver.
The colors of the rooms.
Each room is marked with a color on the plant that orients in the visit to the museum, here’s what: