The Small Museum of the Diary: Engage with Stories, Experience Italy’s Own Story

Ph: Luigi Burroni

A tiny museum in Pieve Santo Stefano which holds treasures of history and memories, in a digital and interactive form.

The rustle surrounds us, and leads us into the rooms of memory, transforming our visit into a unique experience of sounds, voices, light and words flying through the air. Step by step, the visitor is increasingly immersed in an intimate journey and an introspective dialogue with himself and his own past.

The Piccolo Museo del Diario (Little Museum of Diaries) is an intense multisensory and interactive journey born to describe the National Archive of Diaries of Pieve Santo Stefano and its precious autobiographical stories.

The setting engages the visitors in an innovative way and takes them by the hand through the writings of common people who tell the story of Italy from a truly unknown point of view. Private memories become collective and universal stories, thus joining the major historical narrative and intertwining with it, so to speak, with “history written from below”.

Ph. Luigi Burroni

Here, our country finds its purest identity. Memories, letters and diaries bypass the filter of rhetoric, and make us understand the world we live in — our society.

When I asked to Natalia Cangi, Archive’s Director, What impact has the Little Museum on visitors?, she replied:

We can say that Piccolo Museo del Diario and the Lenzuolo di Clelia (Clelia bed sheet) are a way to engage with people emotionally and experientially: the visitors are very involved emotionally and they spend a long time inside the Museum, even though it’s small, as the word says.

The engagement is guaranteed: everybody finds a story there that somehow speaks to them. The interactive attractions that contain the digital memory develop a quick and deep relationship with the audience, and the story of Vincenzo Rabito, which spans the whole 20th century told by a brilliant, narrative case study, is surprising and, again, very engaging. Clelia’s masterpiece speaks to everybody’s heart, and completes the experience pathway in the Little Museum of Diaries.

Ph. Luigi Burroni

The Piccolo Museo del Diario was designed by dotdotdot, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Milan which has installed and programmed several electronic devices within the museum, harmonising technologies of audio and video elements, sensors, microcontrollers, lights, projectors and computers. The project was inspired by Mario Perrotta’s book, Il paese dei diari (Terre di mezzo Editore, 2009).

The museum is the staring pointof the Memory Route.

You can find out more about the Piccolo Museo experience here or organize a custom tour in English here.