Per Via. Tesino Museum of Prints and Street Vendors
A museum reconstructing the history of that border-zone with Veneto, where street vendors represented an essential part of economy, starting from the middle of the 17th century until the end of the Second World War.
This museum recounts the history that had left a mark on the life of Tesino’s inhabitants for a long time since the 17th Century, when they began to venture into the European routes in order to sell flints and then the famous popular prints, which the printing house Remondini had been producing since 1650 in Bassano del Grappa. Gradually, the inhabitants of Tesino widened the catalogue of the offered goods to glasses and other optical products, to sewing and fancy goods, to various objects of the simplest popular traditions and finally to garden and vegetable seeds. They were seasonal street vendors, who used to move on foot while carrying on their shoulders the cassela, a wood box which contained the merchandise they were selling from home to home or in the market places of villages and towns. By selling print stamps they travelled all over Europe, from Spain to Russia, from Italy to the Nordic countries, in order to reach then the Americas, the Northern Africa and Asia. In the second half of the Post-war Period the figure of the Tesino street vendor disappeared gradually from many Italian and foreign villages and towns. But many of them, since the end of the 18th Century, had been opening flourishing shops in the main European towns or had even started their own editorial activity - there is a lot of evidence left to us. The same happened later for optical dealers and this brought a breath of prosperity also to the valleys.
The museum intends to recount the story of all these people through pictures, objects, documents, evidence, reconstruction of places and characters and, of course, print stamps.
The location of the museum itself is part of this story: Casa Buffa Giacantoni - a building located in the middle of Pieve Tesino’s centre – was not in fact a common farming house, but the residence of a family of print stamps dealers for generations.
In a part of the museum the atmosphere of this ancient house is revived through the stories and the activities of its inhabitants of the last century: by means of multimedia languages the visitor will discover personal and collective events of a society deeply shaped by a long story of emigration.
Free guided tour
organized by Fondazione trentina Alcide De Gasperi