The Museum of Memories in Brallo di Pregola: an open-air experience

Brallo di Pregola is the custodian of a unique jewel: the Museum of Memories. An extraordinary place, set in the hamlet of Ponti, which represents an exciting narration of a territory and its roots. Here, there are no rooms or dividing walls, but an immersive experience in an open-air museum where nature itself acts as a backdrop, avoiding dispersion, but allowing the identity of Brallo di Pregola to be shared and enhanced

Immersed in a setting of green woods, at the foot of Mount Lesima, the Museum of Memories is a place where history and tradition intertwine harmoniously. Walking among paths and views, one can discover the testimony of a profession that has now disappeared: that of the charcoal burners. Skilled and tireless workers of the past, they were representative of the close bond that for centuries united man to the forest: they cut wood, dried it, stacked it carefully to prevent air from getting in and, finally, burned it to produce charcoal for sale in the cities. Here, then, the Museum of Memories shows the charcoal kiln, providing an insight into the hard work and ingenuity required for this trade that has now disappeared.

History come to life

But it is not only the history of the charcoal burners that finds space in a museum that takes a closer look at local traditions, agricultural and craft activities that have shaped the identity of Brallo di Pregola over the centuries. At the heart of the museum is evidence of a past rich in charm and tradition.

Around a perfectly preserved water mill, dating back to the early 20th century, you can admire other buildings that tell of a time long gone. The wash-house, for example, a symbol of the local community around which women would gather to wash clothes and chat.

But it doesn't end there. Immersed in the undergrowth is an icehouse, an example of an ancient method of preservation, fundamental for preserving food and drink. But also an example of the ingenuity of previous generations in finding practical solutions to the challenges of the times.

And finally, one cannot forget 'u balo', a typical beaten clay space that was set up for moments of leisure and celebration that today conjures up images of laughter and joy shared among the community.

The Museum of Memories is therefore a place where history comes alive, preserving and enhancing traditions, keeping them alive in the collective memory. A piece of cultural heritage that deserves to be handed down to future generations.

A sensory experience

To make a visit to the Museum of Memories an even more absorbing experience, just let your mind wander. Walking past the charcoal pile, one can imagine the smell of burning wood and the commitment of the charcoal burners in their work. In the wash-house one can almost hear the laughter and stories of the women who gathered to wash their clothes. The ice house, with its almost 'trapped' coolness, seems to provide refreshment on a hot summer's day.

This is how the Museum of Memories, full of emotions, stories to be told and shared, rekindles that deep bond that every community has with its past and its cultural roots. An invitation to walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before us.