Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2019 will see inauguration of the new Lake Ledro Pile Dwelling Museum, a new-generation building that is a wonderful showcase for part of this UNESCO world heritage site. Free entrance this weekend.
Preparation and work continues relentlessly at Ledro where, on 6 and 7 July, the new interiors of the Pile Dwelling Museum will open to the public, even lighter and airier than before. This new museum is the result of heavy investment by the Autonomous Province of Trento, which, once again, confirms its attention to culture, its sensibility to local heritage and history, and its farsightedness in promotion and support at high levels of quality of life, throughout the local area.
Thanks to contemporary museum design based on concepts such as dynamism, transparency, lightness, immediacy, spectacularity and inclusion, the interiors of this new layout lead visitors through the exhibition from one display to the next, reconstructing and weaving together all the aspects, personal and local, social and global, of life in the pile dwellings. The programme for the inauguration sees two days of celebration, with guided visits, shows, workshops and concerts, and includes the perfectly apt special edition of the Palafittiadi® the Pre-historic Olympics. This appointment, a very popular classic of the Ledro summer, is in fact this year all about UNESCO, thanks to a special agenda that also features a canoe race, involving the 6 towns in the UNESCO series of pile-dwelling sites.
Since 2011, Ledro has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site called the “Alpine prehistoric pile-dwelling sites”. The 111 sites that share this prestigious award are across the Alps between France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. 19 are Italian sites and are located in Piedmont (2), Lombardy (10), Trentino Alto Adige (2), Veneto (4) and Friuli Venezia Giulia (1).
“The Ledro Pile-Dwelling Museum is a very important example of contemporary museum,” explains the director of MUSE Michele Lanzinger. “It was designed and managed for many years as a simple museum of antiquities with a small selection of exhibits and the task of checking access to the pile-dwelling site. Its function has now changed radically thanks to the imagination and the efforts of a lively team of curators who have redirected its purpose towards new milestones. The museum has gradually become a place where education is a prime focus, with school trips coming here from all over northern Italy and, over the years, it has shown it is capable of staging important programmes and events for the public, to the extent that it has taken on a highly important role as a promoter for local tourism. The inauguration itself, which will pan out over two days packed with events, confirms the style and the methodology of a museum designed primarily for its visitors and not just as a showcase for its exhibits. The architectural quality of its renovated displays and expansion of the building must be highlighted. Attracting more than 45,000 visitors a year, this museum will finally have the room it needs to host its educational activities and be able to put on temporary displays that renew visitor interest year after year, for its exhibition initiatives. Thanks go to the team who work here with commitment and constancy, to the architects and companies that have collaborated and, finally, to the institutions, including the Autonomous Province of Trento, which funded the project and the Ledro Town Council, which implemented the improvements carried out to this splendid museum and its surroundings."
The Programme for the Inauguration Celebrations
The fun starts on SATURDAY 6 JULY, at 2.00 pm, with official inauguration of the new museum and cutting of the ribbon, after which it will be possible to visit the refurbished interiors and the temporary exhibition “Pile-dwellings around the Alps”, with entertainment and refreshments in various points all over the park.
The grand finale is scheduled for 9.00 pm with the music and dance show “Il gesto di Saba” performed by the LAM company from Rovereto.
The next day, SUNDAY 7 JULY at 10 am, the UNESCO Log Boat Regatta will take place, a rowing competition in canoes dug out of wood between the representatives of the 6 countries belonging to the serial site: “Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps”
This race, which first took place 4 years ago on the waters of Lake Biel, in Switzerland, the following year moved to Lake Mondsee in Austria, then to France and Lake Aiguebelette, last year was held on the Ljubljanica River in Slovenia and this year comes to Italy and Lake Ledro.
Later, at 2.00 pm, the great challenge for more courageous families starts with the highly entertaining Palafittiadi®, the Prehistoric Olympics, a series of competitions for everyone, beginners and experts alike, involving prehistoric specialities. These include archery, fire lighting, clay modelling, weaving and canoe racing. All these different tasks undertaken by the teams are activities that the pile dwellers carried out daily some 4000 years ago in this village.
These wonderful celebrations draw to a close at 6.00 pm with a rock concert by “Olly Riva and the Magnetics”
The Specialities in the Palafittiadi®, the UNESCO Special Edition of the Prehistoric Olympics
Five bows have been found in Ledro, modest in size but of extraordinary scientific value.
The bows used in the competition were made during summer workshops that, since 1998, have seen the production of tools of various shapes and sizes and entrants will have to choose the right bow for hitting the bullseye.
Fire lighting is the most exciting of these specialities, the one that calls for the most concentration from entrants, who will have to energetically rub sticks of wood of different consistencies together to produce hot embers and then flames… just like real prehistoric people!
For these Olympic games, the fun consists in modelling clay to make a copy of one of the museum exhibits, in turn a copy of a vase originally made in gold in Mycenae, proof that fashion influenced manufacture even 4000 years ago.
Entrants will be called on to make cloth by weaving the weft thread through the warp threads. The difficulty here is that the woollen threads used are more fragile and not as smooth as linen ones, forcing competitors to work carefully as well as accurately.
Dug out of a single piece of pine 70 cm wide and over 5 metres long, the canoe is the queen of all the wooden finds brought to light in Ledro during the digging in the sixties.
Entrants will have to grip their paddles, dipping them into the green waters of the lake and pushing with all their might, while keeping the same rhythm as their team members to guide their canoe, a copy of the original, out to a buoy set 100 metres from the bank and back: prehistoric fun and games!
Competing pile dwellers will draw on their creativity, and use ochre and coloured powders to paint signs and symbols on their bodies, from the simplest to the most complicated.
With thanks to: Montura and Hydrotour Dolomiti