The Centro delle tradizioni popolari “Livio Dalla Ragione”is located on the outskirts of south Città di Castello, in the area Garavelle, and accounts for one of the first examples created in Italy of a collection dedicated to farming customs. The original surroundings mirror those lived in at one time by farming families in the Alta Valle del Tevere area and is filled with objects used in daily life.
On the upper floor the rooms have been recreated in a way typical of the traditional farmhouse, furnished with original materials and accessories, displayed in their original position. As soon as you enter, you find yourself in the big kitchen, typical of the patriarchal family, with a stone fireplace upon which grapes were hung at the top to dry in order to make Vin Santo, and on the walls of the fireplace small utensils were hung which were used in everyday tasks. After the kitchen follows the room which was dedicated to sewing and the bedroom with its wrought-iron bed and mattress stuffed with corn leaves. On the ground floor, where at one time the stables were located, equipment associated with animals and work in the fields can be found, such as yokes and fodder cutters. In the cellar, as well as the wine-presses, there are barrels, flasks, funnels and other utensils for winemaking. In the room dedicated to the olive press a millstone and a gigantic press are stored.
In the museum the necessary artisan work processes have been documented for the production of daily consumable goods and for their conservation, fully respecting the home economics customs of the time.
You can also see the blacksmith’s, cobbler’s, and carpenter’s workshops. In the rooms which were at one time dedicated to the granary, all the necessary equipment for the sorting and working of the cereal is displayed, as well as loom frames and instruments for spinning. Outside the house there is a drying room for tobacco, as up until the last century tobacco cultivation was one of the main sources of income for the Alta Valle del Tevere area.
The Centro delle tradizioni popolari “Livio Dalla Ragione”is situated in the relevant farmhouse from the 1500’s, Villa Capelletti. Before he died, the last owner, the marquis Gioacchino (1876-1969), chose to leave both the villa and the annexes in inheritance to the Cassa di Risparmio di Città di Castello bank, with the intention that it would be used for public use. The museum was established in 1974 after the idea was devised and then curated by Livio Dalla Ragione (1922-2007), a scholar of popular culture and an avid researcher of documents regarding peasant civilisation, who did an important job in researching and restoring arboreal varieties originating from the Alta Valle del Tevere area. This resulted in the Fondazione a San Lorenzo di Lerchi, now operated by his daughter Isabella. The Centro delle tradizioni popolari “Livio Dalla Ragione”is part of, along with the Museo Malakos, the Garavelle museum complex.