TrasiMemo. Banca della memoria del Trasimeno

Exhibitions, workshop, training course, collaborations with craftsmen and women.

Museum: TrasiMemo  website
Years: 2014-2019


Trasimemo is a memory activation project, established to recognise and protect the cultural heritage of the community. The project safeguards this heritage through the creation of a shared virtual archive together with museum installations. The project contributes to restoring resonance and visibility to the knowledge of craftsmen and women in the Lake Trasimeno area (Umbria-Italy). It documents the practices, the cultural processes and the social contexts of their collective activity, in order to more fully recognise their valuable social function.

Trasimemo was designed to allow the knowledge of the craftsmen and women to speak through the use of exhibition spaces inspired by contemporary ethnographic museums, telling the tales of the people, their lives, and their world, backed up by the solidity of the actual physical exhibits. The people who have worked and who work in this territory thus find a space where they can tell the tales of their lives as craftsmen and women - blacksmiths, hobbyists, passionate collectors, restorers, artists, inventors, and so on - and where they can contemplate the future of their trades and crafts.

Trasimemo isn't simply a repository for memories. It aspires to be a dynamic public space for education, training and debate, where residents and visitors can get to know each other and exchange ideas. It is hoped that the project will encourage apprenticeship, where a keen eye will be able to pick up on the knowledge built up by Trasimeno craftsmen and women over generations, by studying and practising their methods and techniques.

The exhibition evokes the feeling of an archive. However, visitors don't peruse documents or files, but stories and practices divided into four broad fields: iron and metals, wood, cotto, and fabrics. Four display cabinets, one for each theme, face four large information panels, which function as guides to help visitors explore the archive. The visitor is invited to use the exhibition to discover the layers of memory hidden in the tablets, in the drawers of the display cabinets, in the archive chest of drawers, in the writing on the walls. Between the virtual content and the physical exhibits visitors can learn to recognise the signs of craftsmanship that characterise the surrounding landscape, and learn to appreciate its complexity and fragility.

Photo: (c) TrasiMemo

TrasiMemo. Banca della memoria del Trasimeno

Description of the project / practice / program

The project promotes cultural production and craft activities that would otherwise risk becoming marginalised. Working in partnership with people skilled in a variety of very different fields, with the direct participation of the craftsmen and women themselves, museum exhibits have been created (both virtual and physical) in order to communicate these realities via both traditional and multimedia means, with the aim of taking the visitor on an inclusive and poignant journey.

TrasiMemo presents the craftsmanship skills that have been passed down from generation to generation as solid resources for the future of Trasimeno, and as a constituent element of local community cohesion. Visitors are encouraged to explore this process of self-rediscovery and consider the dynamics of the local community’s relationship with the territory, through the tales and testimonies of the people themselves. The project analyses cross-sections of twentieth century culture through the use of an immersive space with an emphasis on manufacturing and craftsmanship that combines tradition and innovation. It identifies the common ground connecting the tangible objects and intangible knowledge of the past with contemporary practices: the artisan tools on display are often identical to the tools still used today, and the recorded voices of the protagonists (set down on paper or in audio files) speak across the generations. TrasiMemo has no intention of simply preserving objects locked away in glass cabinets, collecting and storing items in order to contemplate an idealised past: it is, rather, an open, collaborative, interactive space, where the heritage on display, composed of memories, personal and family histories, spoken testimonies and so on, is revitalised to look towards the future. The exhibition anticipates a participatory relationship with visitors: a space of playful and lively interaction that stimulates the experience of discovery and facilitates learning. TrasiMemo is designed for and belongs to everybody: it belongs to the artisans, and to anyone with memories of local knowledge; it belongs to the people who live in the area, contributing to the creation of a living, dynamic territory; it belongs to the heritage professionals who, through their research, strive to safeguard memories in their various forms, organising them into narratives for the future; and it belongs to the visitors who decide to enrich their experience of Trasimeno by finding out more about the intricate relationship between its inhabitants, its landscapes and its local resources.

How were practitioners of intangible cultural heritage involved?

The project was set up, and is administered, on the basis of the ideas, suggestions and decisions of the Inclusive Participatory Committee (IPC), composed of the Paciano municipal authorities, the Graduate School of Social Anthropology at Perugia University (in collaboration with the Universities of Florence, Siena and Turin) and a variety of other Paciano and Trasimeno associations, informal groups and single stakeholders.

The IPC is responsible for facilitating the on-going development of ideas and proposals relating to the future of the project. Everyone involved can make their contribution through this committee, and suggest related initiatives to present to the Technical-Scientific Committee (TSC). The associations, groups, and committees are involved in the running of the project in two ways: general meetings are called for presentations and public announcements, and for monitoring the progress of active projects.

Individuals may be called on to participate in the planning of various stages of on-going projects, depending on their specific skills and on the specific plan of action, particularly regarding permanent workshop activities aimed at ensuring that the museum spaces, both real and virtual, remain dynamic and relevant.

Palazzo Baldeschi is situated in Paciano's old town center. As well as housing the TrasiMemo - Trasimeno Memory Bank museum exhibits, the Palazzo also houses the online Memory Bank's consultation area, with access to all the content, allowing visitors to explore the themes in greater depth, as well as a free internet access point, workshops for educational activities, knowledge and experience exchange workshops, the municipal library, a conference hall, and a formal garden with beautiful views over the lake. The Tourist Information office on the ground floor keeps visitors up-to-date regarding all the latest events and activities in the town.

The Palazzo as it stands today is the result of a long period of reflection and debate, lasting 30 years, on what role this essential part of the local cultural heritage should play in the community. The historical building belongs to the Region of Umbria. By agreement with Paciano's municipal authorities the building is managed by the local community.

CV of the author

Cinzia Marchesini

Cinzia Marchesini, cultural anthropologist at the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, graduated from the Specialization School in Demo-ethno-anthropological Heritage - University of Perugia (in agreement with Universities of Torino, Firenze e Siena), director of the museum “TrasiMemo. Banca della memoria del Trasimeno” (Italy), she is doing his PhD in Ethnology and Anthropology at University of Perugia (Italy). She deals with anthropological landscape, processes of cultural “patrimonialization” and local development practices, social use of cultural heritage with specific attention to mental health.


  • Pursue “Cultural intimacy” to allow research to enter into the personal and intimate world of local knowledge and practices
  • Never give up involving people



16 June 2020 from 20:12 to 20:12



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