Museums

The towns within the SCI (Site of Community Importance) "Giara of Gesturi" contribute their own structures to form the museum network of Marmilla. This network has introduced some new structures in the last decade that play an important role in keeping and improving the natural, historical, archaeological and cultural heritage of the territory.

These structures respond to a large range of topics, share a dynamic conception of its objectives, and are dedicated to the understanding, study, and preservation of the context in which the communities of the Giara are rooted. In general, they have an educational focus and, therefore, have developed different forms of collaboration with schools and universities that often set up research laboratories that are open to the public as well as events that attract the attention of new generations. These facilities include The Paleontological and Landscape Center in Nureci and The Paleontological and Archaeological Center in Genoni, which preserves important evidence of the evolution of life and local history.

The sites chosen for the establishment of these museums usually indicate their objectives: the restoration of the buildings that has been carried out by the villages is a decisive step towards the re-appropriation of the collective memory and a strong indication of the awareness that these people have of their own identity. Good examples of this approach are the Malloci House Museum in Albagiara, whose ethnographic exhibition was created inside a building dating back to the late nineteenth century, the Marica House in Gesturi, the Cultural Multimedia Center "Thread of Memory" in Setzu, and the Giara Horse Museum, which is located in an old house called Casa Serra, in Genoni. The work completed by each of them highlights the tireless commitment to keeping every object and every mark left by an old tradition so that they can be shared with the world.

 

 

The Asquer family, originally from Liguria and later became the Viscounts of Fluminimaggiore, became part of the nobility of Tuili after the marriage between Giovanna Asquer and Pedro Ripoll, the first Earl of Tuili, in 1775.

The construction of the neoclassical family home was completed in the Mid-19th century by the architect Gaetano Cima. The Asquers started living there in 1920, after the marriage between Francesca Saveria Aymerich and the Viscount Don Gavino Asquer. The house was abandoned in the 1800s due to the closure of the family’s agricultural production business.

Recently, the property was acquired by the City Hall of Tuili, with the purpose of transforming it into a cultural center. Nowadays, the Asquer Villa  is home to the Museum of the Olive Tree and Oil and the Museum of Sardinian Musical Instruments.

This structure is located in front of the parish church of Saint Peter and has an area of 6,000 square meters. In the center of the building, one can see the main house distributed on two levels: on the ground floor, there once were the administration offices of the family business and the servants’ quarters, whereas the private residence of the Asquers was on the first floor. The courtyard area was once dedicated to farming, with a particular focus on olive processing.

 

The house where Blessed Nicola was born is in the center of Gesturi, a few meters from the parish church and on the street that was named after him. It is a simple building, which has the typical characteristics of the local rural architecture.

A large arched stone entryway leads to the cobblestone courtyard, on which the gallery (once used as an animal shelter), the loft (where the grain was stored) and the rooms overlook. The house, illuminated by shuttered windows, preserves some original furniture and objects from daily life. They provide an idea of what life was like both at home and in the fields. Unlike the interior walls, which have been plastered and painted to cover the stone structure, the wood ceiling remains visible.

The house was recently renovated thanks to regional funding. Nowadays, numerous pilgrims visit the house when they come to Gesturi throughout the year. In order to extend a warm welcome to all those pilgrims, the parish church of Gesturi has a special room, from which you can admire the mosaic window depicting the Blessed.

 

 

 

The Marica House, known as the House of Arts and Crafts, is located near the parish church of Santa Teresa d'Avila in the historic center of Gesturi. It contains a permanent exhibition of works and productions belonging to this region.

The goal of this structure is to promote both cooperation and cultural exchange among those who believe that culture and art can be used to create bridges across nations. Therefore, the structure regularly hosts creative labs and improvised events, involving artists and artisans from around the world.

The building has the typical architectural features of a traditional Sardinian house: an arched entryway that leads to the cobblestone courtyard, which follows the contours of the topography.  Different parts of the building, characterized by wooden gabled roofs covered with tiles and walls made of irregular-sized stone blocks, look out to the courtyard.  The courtyard is surrounded by lollas, which are defined by columns, stone arches and windows with wooden frames.

The Paleontological and Archaeological Center of Genoni, which contains important evidence of the evolution of life and human history in the area of Marmillan, consists of several sections and an educational lab.

In the paleontological section, geology and paleontology of the region are described through the collection of fossils that have been found in the area. All the pieces were restored and classified by the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Cagliari and the Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage of Sassari and Nuoro.

The archaeological section shows the history of the area from the Nuragic period to the Roman era, passing through the Punic period. Moreover, there is a reproduction of Santu Antine, an important hill that was occupied by different civilizations in the past and has numerous ruins on top, including a Roman church, a Punic fortification, a nuraghe and the deepest Nuragic well discovered in Sardinia so far.

The educational lab invites young visitors to move from theory to practice. Archaeological and paleontological excavations can be simulated and some documentaries that describe the work of archaeologists and paleontologists can be watched. A special area of the laboratory is dedicated to the creation of molds and reproductions, the study of minerals, and the cleaning and preservation of fossils.

The Interpretation Center is located in the heart of Nureci. It collects the fossils gathered that have been gathered in the area, which are undoubtedly important discoveries for the reconstruction of the climate, the environment and the landscape during the Miocene Epoch

The sedimentary rock outcrops, especially those found in the area of Genna Manna – Muru ’e Cubeddu, testify to the existence of a past marine environment in the areas of Sarcidano and Marmilla.

These fossils, currently exhibited at the Center, are often presented as organogenic deposits consisting of a large number of specimens belonging to several species. It is worth mentioning the Bank of Turritelle, which is the result of an extraordinary accumulation of specimens of this type of gastropod and other shellfish, especially cephalopods (Aturie) and bivalvias. There are also many echinoids, which can be found in different outcrops.

The museum is also the home of Is Prinzipales. These are terracotta works of art made by Pinuccio Scioli which depict the daily life of farmers. The exhibition is the artist’s tribute to his town and to the people who have seen him grow up, who have contributed to his training and have been a source of inspiration for his work.