San Marino's Museum of Curiosities features a unique collection of unbelievable but true facts, eccentric objects, bizarre personalities and more.
Amongst the most unusual pieces on show are a trap for fleas, a watch to wear on your nose, several cups for men with moustaches, the world’s longest fingernails, the ‘glass suits’ completely covered in mother-of-pearl buttons of the Pearly Kings and Queens of London which date from 1920, glasses for people with cross-eyes, an electrical device to stop adolescent boys from masturbating, Venetian clogs with 60cms-high platforms, an umbrella-whip for a one-horse carriage, a petrol-powered hairdryer, glasses for wigs and many, many more.”
Housed in the Palazzo Pergami, this museum holds archaeological and artistic testimony of the history and legend of the Republic of San Marino. The museum includes an archaeological section holding findings that date from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages and a painting gallery that houses paintings from the XIV-XIX centuries including works by Guercino, C. Gennari, M. Loves, E. Sirani, P.Batoni.
The Museum was inaugurated in 1899 in Palazzo Valloni, seat of the State Library. After becoming an autonomous entity in 1982, it was rearranged in the ancient Palazzo Pergami-Belluzzi, duly restructured to this end, and reopened to the public on 18 March 2001.
The State Museum gathers almost 5,000 historical and artistic items coming from San Marino and linked to its history and from other places, as the result of purchases or donations from 1865 till today.
Just inside the main city gate (10m) sits the entrance to the Torture Museum. I have been into quite a few of these type of places and I admit this is the best of them that I have seen so far. There are many enhibits and all have displays with English translations that inform you of how each device was used. This is quite useful because sometimes it not at all obvious what you would use some of the instruments for.
Not for the squeamish!
We visitied the torture museum, and didn't have time for all the other stuff - but there's also a three-storey curiousity museum, and an aquarium, together with all the military displays in the castle.
As San Marino is extremely tourism-focused, many small museums can be found here. I just visited a single one: The museums of antique arms, which is part of the second tower. Unfortunately, old arms are not the type of things I am interested in, so that I rushed through it. The opening times of other museums are varying a lot, depending on day of the week and time of the year. I wanted to see the museum of emigrants, but it was closed. Among the most popular are the "Museum of Torture" and a Ferrari museum in Borgo Maggiore. I was not verry lucky with the museums. Even when I wanted to visit a museum with a modern art exhibition, I just found out that they were having a break and will reopen later in the day - too late for me.
If you like your pain and death then this is the place for you! If you don't then I would avoid visiting. The museum has more than 100 instruments for inflicting pain and death from over the past few centuries.
Open: 10am-7pm Mar-Dec, 10am-8pm Jan-Feb, 10am-midnight August. Admission: € 6 adults, € 4 children.
The Museum of Ancient Arms can be found in the second castle tower or Cesta which is situated halfway along the panoramic path that connects all three fortresses. The museum was setup in 1956 and houses over 700 exhibits of all types of ancient armour and weapons.
Open: 8:50am-5pm Oct-Mar, 8am-8pm Apr-Sept. Admission: € 3,00 / € 4,50 allows also to visit 1st tower.
Inside of the second tower, La Cesta, is a small but great museum where many of old weapons are on display. Weapons from the medieval times to the end of 19th century can be admired, from swards, bows, armours, guns, rifles... all together over 1500 pieces, many of the true works of art.
Museo dell'Aviazione is the biggest aviation museum in Italy. It includes a magnificent exterior static display of a big number of aircraft, including a DC-3 that belonged to Clark Gable in the late 50s. The museum offers a whole range of exibits, pertaining to the history of aviation since it's inception.
Museum of curiouses.
Very funny place. Don't grudge 10 or 15$ (i don't remember)
Museum has 3 floors and looks not so big. But there are a lot of funny things to see.
Some of them i will show in my pictures..
When you'll pass through the main gate of the wall you'll find at your right the 'Torture Museum', that I advice to see it.
How a small neutral republic can devoted its museums to the violence.
I saw 3 museums : 2 are specialized in weapons (ancien and modern), 1 in torture.