Mantova Off The Beaten Path Tips by oriettaIT Top 5 Page for this destination
Mantova Off The Beaten Path: 10 reviews and 17 photos
This off the beaten path museum really made my trip! We just came out from Osteria la Fragoletta after a huge lunch and quite a bit of wine an we though that the fire department museum was appropriate for the moment!!
We went inside without big expectations and we were left astonished!
The building was a Gonzaga horse stable and has been restored very well. The fire department got the place for their vehicles collection and the museum is run by retired fireman who volunteer to do it (for free).
They have maybe 50 historical vehicles, all still working and kept in perfect shape, not even a particles of dust sit on them. It is clear that the volunteer group love those car, motorcycle, ramps and horse carriage and work on them constantly.
The man who was at the door was willing to give us every information we wanted, he told us the story of the building and showed us the features of all the vehicles.
They have a huge collection of fireman car miniatures and lots of fire extinguisher from the past.
There is also a collection of historical photos about the big salvage operations they have been involved over the years.
Definitely worth an extensive visit. The Museum is free admittance, a offer is accepted.
You can also ask at the custodian to get the free card to visit several other museum or park for free or with a discount.
Other Contact: Largo Vigili del Fuoco, 1 Mantov
Phone: (+39) 0376 22771
This little building was a real find! we saw there was a free exhibit of some sort going on, as all the museums are so expensive nowadays why pass on something free?
So we went in and discovered a small gem.
The church was built on a Mantegna project and built by some of his scholars, his are the frescoes on the wall and it is a real pity the whole building have not been restored completely yet.
We met a retired teacher there, she is one of the volunteers who make sure the place can be open and visible. She was really happy to tell us all about the place.
Since the '50 or so nothing was visible, the frescoes was covered up by several layer of plaster and all was dark and oily as a pots and pan factory was there for decades. At a certain point the municipality needed the building, so they clean it up a little, and assigned the second floor (created in the XIX century) to the municipality kindergarten.... yes, you read it right, the room is STILL the dormitory for the preschool kids!!
Later on a professor of the local university decided to take a better look to the church and realized it was hiding a treasure! The whole big room is covered by frescoes, the most interesting are still invisible because they are in the upper part, yes, where the kids sleep!!
The association that take care of it now is trying to relocate the kids so the church can be taken back to its old splendor.
The big painting you can see on the second picture is really a very good photographic reproduction. The real one, that adorned the main altar and was made by Mantegna have been stolen by Napoleon the third and now is showed in Louvre Museum.
The church is in Mantova center, in Via XX Settembre, corner with Largo Santa Susanna.
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