Largo San Francesco, Torgiano, (Perugia)
Regional Ceramic Museum Instituted in 1898 by a group of local notables, the Museo Regionale della Ceramica is the oldest museum of its kind. It has been hosted in the entirely restored 14th century Convent of San Francesco since 1998. The exhibition space covers a total surface area of 1700 square meters, subdivided into 1200 for the display and 500 for the deposits. Temporary exhibitions are periodically organized on the ground floor, and there is a Library specialized in the History of Ceramics, which contains more than 1400 volumes. The Museum display itinerary is arranged in 14 rooms on three levels and in a large roomy space, which contains the ceramic materials and is also equipped for study activities. Apart from the archaeological section, offering an exemplary overview of the main products of ancient times in Italy and Greece, the Museum systematically documents local production from the Middle Ages up to the 1900s. Of a certain interest is the section dedicated to the luster colored Majolica, whose technique made the workshops of Deruta particularly famous in the 16th century. This is also true for the 17th century “comprehensive” production, characterized by a decorative and chromatic complexity. The thematic sections are dedicated to the ceramics utilized in pharmacy, reunited in an original Apothecary Shop furnishing set. The 16th century Majolica floor tiles and votive plates were often inspired by the ones in the nearby Madonna dei Bagni Sanctuary. The peculiarity rendering this Museum unique is the presence of a four floor high Metallic Tower that communicates with the former convent building on every level, an imposing structure—reserved for warehousing and accessible to the public—appropriately equipped for study and research activities.