Museo della Civiltà Contadina

Camper routes: some new discoveries

We are sure that you have discovered new places to visit on your camper travels, places that you did not expect to find.

And in fact, this happened to us during a Sunday spent researching camper routes, when we “bumped into” the extremely kind signor Mauro.

In his company, we saw his unique collection and discovered a world of stories and anecdotes of the life and world of this man.

Mauro Parizzi, born in 1949, is one of the many “storers”, if you like, of the lost world of the farmer, which not only is not to be found in books or on social networks, but which is usually only found in personal memories.

Mauro welcomed us at the entrance to the Parmigiano Reggiano Museum at Soragna (province of Parma), and we were immediately put at our ease: he welcomed first our four-legged friend Teo and then us, asking if he needed some water. We continue to chat while we get our tickets, about dogs and animals and how beautiful it is to bring them with us as we travel. And talking of which, we should mention that dogs are permitted in all the Food Museums and the Museum of Country Life, which will be our next stop after the Parmigiano Reggiano Musuem.

Together with two other Italian tourists, we begin our tour of the magnificent display of farm tools and machines, a collection of often unique items that ranges from the end of the 19th century to the 1980s.

Museo della civiltà contadina

@Museo della Civiltà Contadina

The museum

What marks Mauro out from many other guides I have seen in museums and collections is his passion. Of course, nearly everyone has a passion, for motorbiks, vintage cars or for a job that then leads us to investigate further its history and origins across the ages.

Mauro’s particular passion is for his land and the often-difficult life of those who tilled it, a true and honest way of life that has now vanished.

Over the years, he has found (or received as donations) tools and everyday objects of prime importance for the world of the farmer and the domestic life and culture of the farming community.

We start our visit with presentations and explanations of various objects on display in the narrow spaces of a old pig-sty next to the old dairy where the Museum is located. The official site of the collection explains that: “here you can find the whole range of agricultural activity, from the harvesting of the corn, hay and tobacco, the gathering of the grapes for wine, wine-production, the raising of cattle, the work of our dairies and all the initiatives that arise from the work of the countryside. Here we have the entire domestic life, the flour-sifters, the polenta pots, the dough-makers, the tools for bread-making, the small and large aluminium and copper pots, the cake molds, the first portable fridges and the wood and brick stoves….”

But Mauro brings each object to life, explaining not just its function and use, but adding anecdotes and episodes that tie it to everyday country life. We can almost say that he gives life back to each object, via his memories and for some items, the memories of the visitor.

L'ideatore del Museo della Civiltà Contadina di Soragna

Museum of Country Life at Soragna (province of Parma): its creator

Conclusions

As often happens in places like this, stuffed full of objects, time flies: visitors are transported into another world, a world without “touch” and “like” that is rich in emotions and passion.

And that is also thanks to people like Mauro Parizzi. If you have included the province of Parma on your camper route, we strongly advise stopping at Soragna (and beyond at Rocca Meli Lupi) and the Parmigiano Reggiano Museum, to consider seeing this collection and the deep knowledge of its creator.

You can find the Camper rest-area at Soragna in Via Giacomo Matteotti.

 

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