Wonder  }  Museum

Small diary museum

An exciting museum of voices, memories, words. The truest history, written "from below"

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Where is


Piazza Pellegrini Plinio, 1, 52036 Pieve Santo Stefano AR, Italia (433m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

We climb the 16 steps of the 16th-century Palazzo Pretorio (one of the few buildings in Pieve Santo Stefano left standing after World War II), and here we are in the Small Diary Museum, a place that moves us with its unexpected charge of humanity. The museum, inaugurated on December 7, 2013, is indeed "small," but it gives us a very rich selection of entries: thousands of entries (more than 8,000) enclosed in the diaries, memoirs, and epistolary letters carefully preserved in thediary archive founded in Pieve Santo Stefano by Saverio Tutino in 1984.

Why it is special

The first room is little more than a hallway. There is a background buzz: it is "the rustle of others": the voices of all the diaries kept in the Archives. On one wall, up to the ceiling: drawers and doors of every shape. Some have a label with a name. We open a drawer... and a voice rises: "Dear Diary...," "Dear Mom..." We see the pages of the notebooks, the letters, the writing sometimes clumsy and simple, sometimes learned and elegant, the photographs... Our guide, Mr. Luigi, affectionately tells us the stories of those people, as if they were his friends or relatives: a prisoner of war, a teenager in the 1980s, a pair of clandestine lovers in the 1800s...

Not to be missed

Letters from soldiers of the Great War occupy much of the second room and touch the heart... We are also moved by Clelia Marchi's autobiography, written in thick and very long lines on a pink-embroidered wedding sheet... And then we meet the voice of Vincenzo Rabito, Ragazzo del '99, a Sicilian and "inafabeto": 1027 sheets, laboriously written on an Olivetti Lettera 22 between Italian and dialect, without margins or interlineations, with a profluence of semicolons...


The museum's multimedia set-up is inspired by Mario Perrotta 's book "The Land of Diaries": what do the diaries do at night, when the archive is closed? They talk to each other, bicker, step out of their place in search of related stories, and create that "rustle of others" that greets us in the first room.

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Maria Cristina

I did not imagine so much poetry. And such dedication from Mr. Luigi, our guide who is in love with his Museum.


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