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Piana delle Orme
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
piana delle orme entrance
I've been to the D-Day museum in New Orleans, the Imperial War Museum in London, the Cabinet War Rooms in London, and many tiny museums in the rural US with small WWII collections,
piana delle orme ticket
but Piana delle Orme, a museum tucked away in a little, close-to-nowhere Italian town, has way more large WWII artifacts than any museum I've ever been too.
piana delle orme toys 1
Half of the museum is war stuff, and the other half is a cultural/historical look at the region
piana delle orme toys 2
combined with an initial section of old toys; I'm not sure how the old toys fit in with the general themes of the museum.
(Ilaria claims this toys was hers - that somehow she lost her toy and it came into the hands of the museum, I don't buy it. To me these toys look pre-historic from many generations ago, not something my 28-yr-old gal would play with as a kid, but Italy was pretty far behind-the-times back then.)
piana delle orme cultural
The cultural stuff was pretty cool.
piana delle orme wine
They had the giant barrels used to make/store wine (I think they were still in use because the whole room smelled like wine)
piana delle orme olive oil 1
Then they had all the gear for making olive oil. These big stone wheels grind the olives into a pulp.
piana delle orme olive oil 2
This machine presses the oil from the pulp.
piana delle orme olive oil 3
Finally, the filtered oil drips out little-by-little from this spout giving the room a great smell - if only the next room were a bread making room to mix with my oil and wine...
fairchild C 119
But lets fly-on to my favorite part of the museum - the WWII stuff.
piana delle orme vehicles
As I said before, there is a LOT of large WWII stuff here. In typical Italian fashion, the sheer amount of artifacts seems to preclude the detailed annotation of any of it. So your amazement is offset by puzzlement, as you can only guess or imagine the individual histories of each piece.
J at piana delle orme
Any one of these vehicles by itself would make for a compelling book on the history of the vehicle and the people who lived and worked in the vehicle, but in Italy there are just too many historical artifacts to pay any single piece much attention.
Ilaria DUKW
This DUKW, an amphibious landing craft (usually called a 'Duck') that the allies used to come ashore on the Italian mainland, brought memories of Boston where the same vehicles are used to drive tourists around the city and along the Charles river.
Ilaria Sherman
This Sherman tank was used in the film Life is Beautiful. This girl was not in the movie. Ma anche lei e' una principessa.
piana delle orme trucks 1
They have enough of many of the vehicles
piana delle orme trucks 2
to build little reenactments,
piana delle orme desert
such as this one of desert combat
piana delle orme nazi
with the Nazis under Rommel.
piana delle orme recovered plane
The museum has gone to great lengths to get some of the recent acquisitions. This airplane was dug up from the sea by the museum. The museum contacted the pilot (an American) and he came back to the museum to see the plane he jumped out of so many years before.
piana delle orme monte cassino
Finally, this is a small replica of Monte Cassino, the monastery where St. Benedict lived and died, and the site of one of the largest and most controversial battles of the war. Fernando, Ilaria's dad, organized a special tour of the monastery for us, which will be the subject of the next album.