Best museums in Italy are not always large and widely known. Some of them are hidden gems frequented mostly by connoisseurs of all things Italian. The Wine Museum (Museo del Vino) in Torgiano in central Italy is a good example.
The museum opened in 1974 born from the passion of the Lungarotti family for history and art of winemaking. Over the years, the museum developed under the direction of the art historian and archivist Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti.
10,000 people visit the museum every year to see its splendid collection of 3000 exhibits from medieval times to the 20th century that has been created over the decades: works by Picasso and Mantegna, antique texts, weathered amphorae and elegant ceramic and glass vessels all connected in one way or another with 5000 years of wine making. The museum’s rooms are all arranged in a way, which allows the visitors to go through a beautifully told narrative from the beginnings of wine making to modern days, from far-away shores to the local vineyards in Umbria.
Here you can see a stunning collection of ceramics from the 16th to the 20th century. Umbria was famous for ceramics production during Renaissance and here you can see some splendid rare examples from those days. One of them is a plate depicting the myth of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, wine making and wine, which was made by one of the greatest Italian ceramist of all times. The plate is signed and dated: Mastro Giorgio Andreoli, 1528. You do not need to be an expert on Renaissance ceramics to appreciate the beauty of this masterpiece.
Unlike many other wine museums in Italy, Museo del Vino in Torgiano is only a part of a bigger experience. The Lungarotti family produce 2,4 million bottles of excellent wine and visitors can explore the winery, taste the award winning produce, enjoy a typical delicious meal in their restaurant Le Melograne. For a total relaxation, you can check in to the spa and indulge in wine therapy: bath in Sangiovese wine while sipping a glass of Lungarotti “Rubesco”, have a grape seed oil massage and rejuvenate with virgin grape juice.
Photos by Fondazione Lungarotti.