Ciao, everyone! Today, I would like to introduce you to a unique museum from Ancona, Marche.
Living in Italy, there are plenty of museums and art exhibitions. Even in the countryside, every small town would have at least one museum. And this is one of the reasons why I enjoy living in Italy.
I must say though, now that it has been 7 years since I moved here, I thought I had seen them all. So this hidden gem turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Museo Omero is a one-of-a-kind museum where you are allowed, or rather, encouraged, to touch the art pieces.
The idea was born from a local blind couple, Aldo and Daniela. The couple who is a travel lover has visited numerous museums, from around the world. However, in all of the museums they have been to, they were not allowed to touch the artwork. "For us blind people, not being able to touch is like saying to a sighted person, not to watch," said Aldo, once in an interview. Thus, the idea for a tactile museum that everyone could enjoy was born.
They display replicas' famous artwork (especially sculptures) from Ancient Greek art to contemporary pieces. Also, there are many miniatures of celebrated architecture from around the world.
Before entering, the museum staff member gave us a brief introduction about the place and also suggested to us,
"If you are a sighted person, use your scarf as a blindfold and try and 'see' the art only by touch."
And this turned out to be a rare experience.
For a sighted person, just by briefly looking at an artwork, we can guess more or less what era the piece came from, even if we didn't know the exact artist. But to understand the art only from words and touch was a huge challenge for me. For example, I touched the Leaning Tower of Pisa (without seeing it) but could not even distinguish that it was crooked!
Plus, there were unexpected surprises too. When I was touching Michelangelo's David, I realized for the first time that his brows are furrowed. I have seen the "real" David a few times at the Accademia Gallery in Florence but never paid attention to the detail. It is so famous, you've seen it everywhere so many times that by now you presume to know it. How completely wrong I was! By touching and feeling the art, you can appreciate it in a completely different way.
If you are ever in Ancona, Museo Omero is highly recommended for an afternoon in the museum as you have never "seen" before. (Closed on Monday, reservation required.)
The museum is located at the Mole of Ancona, right by the port. There is another exhibition space, where currently there is a Frida Kahlo photo exhibition, and in the summertime, concerts are often held. Check out Mole's website before visiting to see if other fun events are happening!