One of my favorite museums is the unusual ethnographic museum in Santa Lussurgiu, Sardinia, Museo della Tecnologia Contadina Maestro Francesco Salis or the Museum of Rural Technology founded by Francesco Salis, a former teacher. I was fascinated by this museum when I first visited it nearly 30 years ago and anxious to visit it again to see what it was like now.
During his life (1923-2007), Maestro Francesco Salis collected more than 2000 artifacts that were used in the everyday life and work of the country people in this area in the past. Housed in 11 rooms of an 18th century house, the current museum holds a good selection of items from his collection from tools used by farmers, shepherds, and charcoal burners to household items and toys. Francesco Salis was a highly-respected school teacher who worked to better the lives and conditions of the local people. He received a gold medal from UNESCO for his fight against illiteracy.
One of the things that made this museum memorable on my first visit was the enthusiastic guide, Francesco Salis himself. I was worried that without him it wouldn’t be as good. However, Mauro, our guide, gave an excellent tour, demonstrating or pointing out several of the most unusual items and giving us a good look at what country life was like in the “old days”. He also had us try to guess the uses for a few of the artifacts, including this unique mousetrap he demonstrates in this photo:
When you’re visiting the island of Sardinia, don’t miss the chance to visit this fascinating museum in the pretty town of Santa Lussurgiu.
Technology of the Contadina Museum Visitor Information:
The Museo della Tecnologia Contadina is open only by reservation (prenotazione) by calling one of the numbers listed on the site. Your guide will meet you at the agreed upon time and spend about an hour showing you around the museum. Our guide, Mario, spoke some English and demonstrated some of the objects, making it easy to understand. Tickets, including the guide, are currently 3 euro or 2 euro for over 65 years of age.
Where to Eat:
No excursion in Italy is complete without eating. For a memorable meal continue on to the town of Bonarcada, a few miles away, and follow signs for Sa Mola. Here you can try several traditional dishes including an excellent pane frattau (layers of boiled carta di musica bread with tomato sauce, topped with a fried egg) and the local casizolu cheese served with Corbezzolo honey, a special bitter honey from Sardinia. The restaurant is housed in an old olive mill and you can still see the olive press and other objects from the past.
Where to Stay:
Sas Benas is an albergo diffuso with 13 rooms and suites spread out in various locations in the historic center. Breakfast is included and there’s a restaurant.
Il Pasha’ is a highly rated bed and breakfast with 2 rooms, a terrace and shared kitchen.
Sa Mola, in Bonarcada, is a former country manor with 22 rooms and bungalows and an excellent restaurant.