Włochy / Muzeum
The Town and Territory Museum documents the history of Valdinievole, through various sections dedicated to the Environment, Archaeology, handicrafts, thermal baths, and the Massacre of Padule di Fucecchio (Fucecchio Marshes). Located in the Osteria dei Pellegrini, it is in this building that nine Jews were detained during the war.
The Town and Territory Museum of Monsummano Terme is housed in the Osteria dei Pellegrini, a building promoted by Grand Duke Ferdinando I dei Medici and completed in 1616 to welcome pilgrims who came to venerate the image of the Holy Virgin in the nearby Sanctuary of Fontenuova. In 1855, the building was purchased by the Community of Monsummano and Montevettolini to house the prison facilities.
During WWII, from November 1943 to March 1944, nine Jewish Italian citizens were detained here, including siblings Sergio and Giuliana Melli, aged 10 and 3. The patrols that led to the arrests were ordered by the Pistoia police headquarters, and were carried out by agents of the Montecatini public security police station and carabinieri from the Monsummano station, in cooperation with German soldiers and other local republicans. After being detained in Monsummano, the group were transferred to Florence, Fossoli and then Auschwitz, where they were murdered.
The Osteria dei Pellegrini was home to prisons and court offices until the 1980s. Between 1995 and 1998, the building underwent major consolidation and restoration work that allowed for the construction of the Town and Territory Museum. The first floor was opened on 12 December 1998, while the second, dedicated to the 20th century, was opened to the public on 11 June 2005.
The Osteria dei Pellegrini now houses on its premises the Town and Territory Museum, the Library, and the Town's Historical Archives. On the second floor, a prison cell is kept intact to preserve historical memory. The museum shows the environmental and cultural aspects around which the people of the Valdinievole have built their history, with sections dedicated to thermal baths, handicrafts, Industry and Archaeology. A section entitled 'The Hall of Remembrance' is dedicated to the Padule di Fucecchio massacre, which took place on 23 August 1944, in which 174 people were killed by Nazi-Fascists. It consists of explanatory panels, transparent silhouettes, the names of all the victims, and a video installation entitled 'Flashes in the dark... voices in silence'.