Yet another exciting surprise.
Piana delle Orme is yet another one of the exciting places, we ended up by accident. We had found a free campsite via Campercontact and it turned out to be right outside a museum.
We arrived late at night and what was supposed to be a quiet night, became a night full of the sound of hundreds of mating frogs. Take a listen to the video below. Luckily we are used to various kinds of noise at night, so we caught a good nights sleep anyway.
Normally we are not that much into museums, but for the fun of it, we Googled the one we were parked beside. It was something historical about the city Latina and the entrance fee was only 13 Euros, so we decided to give it a go.
The museum turned out to be in some old military barracks (as far as we could see) and the barracks were exhibitions with each their epoch in history. It was an amazing setup. The surroundings was also exhibitions, including everything from old airplanes to trains and boats.
What made this so special?
Piana delle Orme is the best museum we have ever visited. The reason? This museum lets you walk through history from the 1920s to after WW2. Not only walking, but also feeling as a part of the history. Each barrack holds a setup, where you are in the middle of everything. Starting in the 20s, experiencing how people worked and lived back then. Everything is made as a scene from that time, with soundeffects, people and items. Often it is possible to enter trains, trams, houses and workshops or push a button to hear more about the specific scene.
No dusty glass cases, with boring stuff inside and a lot of text to be read. Instead Piana delle Orme offers an exciting tour through history, made by creative people and skilled artists. Those artists have painted the walls of the barracks with vivid scenery of landscapes, mountains and buildings.
Paths, bridges and tunnels.
Paths, bridges and tunnels, brought us through the barracks and their exhibitions. We even walked through bunkers at a point. Everything was so perfectly made, that it felt like being in another age.
For each barrack, there was another age and between the barracks we stepped out in the sun for a while, to digest the things we had seen or to sit down and rest a little. Then on to the next barrack, to experience how the technology evolved, from working with simple tools to the evolution of machinery. Some of the exhibitions also showed how wine and oil were made and the museum also has a huge collection of toys.
All though it was possible to hear information in various languages by the push of a button, it wasn’t all that necessary. Everything was so visually informative, that the only buttons we actually used, was the ones with sound effects. Those were a great feature and allowed us to hear sounds from a quarry, the machines on a farm and even the original broadcast from the day the Italians became a part of WW2.
World War 2
Especially the barracks with WW2 exhibitions were amazing. First of all, the museum owns more military vehicles, weapons and equipment than you can imagine. Besides that, we have never felt so close to being at war, as we did in those barracks. The scenes were build as battlefields, field hospitals and wanderings through the desert. It was like actually being there. On top of it all, we could add the sound effects.
At the battle field.
At some point, we were led through a dark tunnel and all of a sudden, we could hear bombs falling. When we stepped out of the tunnel, we were at a battlefield at night. Flashing lights, bomb blasts, cries, courage and despair. Scary and overwhelming, but also extremely well made.
The toughest exhibition.
When we reached an outside platform with two trains on it, the cruelty of WW2 really hit us. The scenery was the transport of Jews. It was so realistic and so filled with sorrow. The dolls had natural hight and we could walk among them, which made us feel scared of the heavily armed soldiers, guarding the Jews. The prisoners faces looked so sad and scared and the soldiers faces were full of hatred. It really touched us.
One of the wagons was empty, except for a pile of suitcases. The walls were plastered with small strips of paper with the names of the people who were transported to the concentration camps. From the loudspeakers, those names were read out loud. It was horrible.
In another wagon, Jews were looking out the barred windows, with desperation in their eyes and yet another one, was full of shoes and other belongings from the captives. Everything was made so vivid, that the sorrow and despair crept under our skin. Even the soldiers, taken as prisoners of war, touched our hearts.
The captions in the video are in Danish, but the images says it all.
The end of the war.
Luckily the war ended and the last barrack held the scenery of soldiers returning home to their families. At that time, we had been walking around at the museum for 7 hours! Only interrupted by a meal at the museum restaurant and a visit to their military outlet. In the outlet you can buy everything from old military clothes and badges to field- and kitchen equipment.
Italy’s National Day.
To top it all, we actually arrived at the museum the day before Italy’s National Day 10th of June. That meant that we got to see a big parade, with young and old military people. What looked like a general from the Navy, was also there and held a speech. We didn’t understand much, but it was fun to see the old uniforms etc.
If you want to walk through the Italian history and experience Europe’s most exciting museum, then you have to visit Latina. We absolutely recommend it.
Text: Eva. Supplement, caption and image editing: Malthe