News and events

Expansion of the Museum collections

    The museum continues its indefatigable evolution ! By the way the philosophy behind the project is that a museum can not be static but must constantly offer new stimuli: to past generations, in order to remember, and to the future generation to see, with curiously, from where they came from.

    Thanks to Michael and Joanna, who have given to the museum the collection that their father had tenaciously collected with passion in dozens of years, in the museum's first floor, covering the period of World War II, will be a room set up again, by the the end of November, which will be dedicated entirely to memorabilia of the Italian period between 1920 and 1960. The hall will host uniform of Italian Army, Carabinieri Corps, Navy, MVSN, RSI, radio and a phonograph by that time as well as decorations and medals.

Museum Quality project

As part of the promotion and enhancement of the Iola di Montese museum, is started, at the Institute of Artistic, Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Emilia Romagna region, the recognition for application of Quality Museum.
The museums of quality, recognized by the Emilia-Romagna region can enjoy the following benefits:
- Priority in regional funding. - Recognition of the identity of the museum as an autonomous institution operating within the territory. - Certification and quality enhancement, also identified by a special logo. - Participation in communication and promotion campaigns by the Emilia Romagna region and the Institute of Artistic, Cultural and Natural Heritage. - Potential to attract sponsors and donations. - Growing reputation and visibility.

The path is complex and it is a goal that would aim to enhance the museum itself and the territory, a source of pride and satisfaction for those who have believed and worked to establish and grow this reality.

10th Mountain Division Descendant's partnership

10th Mountain Division Descendant's partnershipThe first time we met some veterans and descendants of the 10th mountain division was in 1996.

It was with a certain curiosity and respect that we observed and reflected on why, after 51 years, one should still feel the urge to return to a land where today’s veterans turned from young men, with their lives in front of them to adults, thrown into the field of battle, in a foreign land, and had to see their companions die, often horribly, and stare death in the face every minute of every day.

There are also, of course, those who have tried, and often in vain, to block out those memories of blood and pain. We believe a respect for these men should and must be passed down to future generations who are alive today because of the sacrifices, broadly speaking, made by our “fathers”.

    This is why we think the best way to convey our respect is to continue paying tribute to those who fought and died in our country, with memories whose natural home is a museum, the one at Iola di Montese in particular.

    The halls dedicated to the 10th mountain division, featuring daily and personal objects, uniforms, weapons and equipment, are in keeping with this strong theme of the partnership between the museum of Iola di Montese and the association of the descendents of the 10th mountain division.

    We would like to thank Val Rios, the President of the association of the descendents of the 10th mountain division, and all the veterans for their kind and valuable contribution to the museum.

Look at the past

   The website  project started off in autumn 2006 after brothers Andrea and Giuliano Gandolfi, in May the same year, had met Val Rios, Cruz Rios' son and President of the 10th Mountain Division Descendants.

His father was a soldier enrolled in the K Company of the 3rd Battalion, 87th Regiment of the 10th American Mountain Division, which fought on the Gothic Line (renamed "Green Line", from Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, in June 1944) in the high Tuscan-Emilian Apennine Mountains, in the territory of Modena and Bologna’s provinces, between January and April 1945.

    The book "In my Father's foxholes and footsteps" and the desire to do all those experiences and knowledge acquired in such short time available to history enthusiasts were the outcome of such meeting.

History of the Museum

     Iola today is a small village within the municipality of Montese. Once belonged to Monteforte, famous in the past because was situated, with its castle and fortress, on the borderland between the Dukedom of Modena and the Papal States to which Bologna belonged. The Monteforte area has always been a place of conflicts and incursions from both sides, as is amply testified by place names such as Malandrone, Ore Buie and Malavolta, (Dark Hours and Unlucky Time) which are found scattered along the divide.

     When the castle was destroyed and abandoned at the beginning of the 17th century (ca 1630s) a part of its territory given over to the sattlement of Maserno, and the other part gave origin to Jola. Previously known as Malavolta, Iola also began life as a parish during this period.

 The museum building near the church
     At that time, in 1683s, the building was used as a vicarage of Parish Church. Over the years it underwent several works of conservation, starting with that of 1728s, due to the state of disrepair it into a had fallen because the parish priests of the time, all from Jola preferred to reside in their family homes. The stone entrance portal was restored in 1855s, and the kitchen fireplace, also stone, in 1905s.

     During the 2nd World War, whereas the bell tower was almost undamaged, the adjoining church was destroyed, and the vicarage, althought damaged, continued to be inhabited by the parish priest. Both the church and vicarage were rebuilt in 1950s. The latter was used initially for some primary school classrooms and then abandoned for several decades, becoming derelict and unsafe.

    At 1990, the cultural group "Il Trebbo" along with the parish priest, decided to salvage the building and make it a  "Collection of items from Montese" museum. The time-consuming of the difficult renovation, coordinated with enthusiasm, commitment and competence by the priest of the time, Don Fabrizio Martelli, were completed thanks to the generosity of different organizations and individuals also to the voluntary cooperation of Montese's inhabitants sympathizers.

The museum entrance     These rooms housed objects documents and personal accounts of territory, therefore, an expression of cultural heritage, acquired through the loans or spontaneous donations of residents and assiduous guests of the village.

The criteria used in the display of the material are as follows:

- recreate the various living styles and environments: kitchen, bedroom, cellar, agricultural implements, stable, mill, carpentry, cobbler, loom;

- give an account of the geological origins of our mountains, both mineral and fossil;

- display objects and documentation regarding an exceptionally dramatic period in the history of our people: the War.

The visit may follow two educational strands:

- direct observation of the objects and implements which made up the furnishings of the environments with an analysis and description of their use,

-evolution of a particular theme, e.g. the story of wheat: plowing - sowing – harvesting – storing (sheaving and binding) – milling – usage. 

     In the year 2004, also thanks to the Andrea e Giuliano Gandolfi brothers, two more rooms were added - to date the exhibition occupies the entire first floor - for accommodate items dating back to the Second World War period. The items were classified according to the Army, so can admire weapons, uniforms and everyday objects once belonging to Wehrmacht soldiers, Brazilians of FEB, 10th Mountain Division soldiers and one room was dedicated to Italian Memories.

The facade of the museum building
     In more recent years, between 2009 and 2010, the Museum underwent extension works which added to the facility the old stable and barn, connecting them directly to the main premises in the vicarage.

Also the underlying basement was converted to offer visitors a number of theme rooms created in an original period context.

    In the year 2012 the work was completed with the removal of architectural barriers aimed to the usability of museum environments to the disabled.

Il logo di Museo di Qualità della Regione Emilia Romagna  In the year 2011 the museum was recognized as MUSEUM OF QUALITY by the Institute for Artistic, Cultural and Historical assets of Emilia Romagna Region





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 The activities of the museum relies on volunteers and donations.
Your donation can help us so the new and future generations can learn from their past.


        Link all'accreditamento dell'Associazione discendenti della 10a Divisione da Montagna


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