The Museo delle Arti Monastiche is hosted in the cellars of the Serra dè Conti Town Hall. Objects that have been found in the Monastery of Maria Maddalena, that is just a short way off the museum, are kept there.
The Clarisse nouns of the Monastery have opted for the Constitutional seclosure.
Their convent is so open to the outside world. They can have contact with the outside, they can host pilgrims, but they can’t leave the convent.
The rooms where the museum is hosted are fascinating. The large rooms with brick walls, covered with cross and barrel vaults remind of the times when the nuns would spend their time in prayer and work.
They never neglected meditation. Working was in fact an important aspect of their lives but it should never overcome the time spent in silent prayer.
The museum setting is really harmonic.
The ancient wardrobes and chests in fact are well matched with the modern style of displays and illustrative panels. The visitor can so experience an interactive tour.
The museum is also known as “The rooms beyond Time”, because the object where found in wardrobes, cupboards, chests.
Some of them gave the impression to have been left there with unfinished works in order to be finished in a short time.
The museum also offers the chance of travelling back to the past. There is in fact a theatrical tour where actresses’ voices surround the visitor and take him back to the XVI-XVIII century.
They explain the usage of some objects and also tell the story of a Clarisse noun life at the time.
Visitors can also admire the everyday life objects nuns would use such as utensils, the “spezieria” where the nuns would make herbal treatments, or the “lavoriero” where looms where kept, fabrics dyed, trimmings and silk flowers made and where they realized items through ceroplastics.
The monastery also had an important educational role. Rich girls would in fact enter the monastery to learn the art of weaving, sewing and embroidering. They were then employed in vestments.