Polo Museale (Museum Centre)
Polo Museale (Museum Centre) situated in the Monastery of San Francesco
Montefiore boasts six interesting museums and art galleries, five of which are to be found in one magnificent building.
The Monastery of San Francesco (Saint Francis), which was consecrated in 1264, has been converted into a museum complex called the Polo Museale.
The exhibitions can be seen in a series of galleries leading from the central cloisters of the monastery.
Giancarlo Basili Gallery
The first gallery the visitor comes across is dedicated to Giancarlo Basili, the prestigious contemporary scenographer. There are photos, sketches and videos centred around the original sets of a number of his best-known films.
Peasant Culture Gallery
The next part of the museum is concerned with traditional Peasant Culture from the region (Il Museo della Civiltà Contadina). It features four hundred tools and other objects that were collected from local families. There is also a soundscape, consisting of traditional songs, nursery rhymes, farmyard sounds and the sound of the weaving loom.
Domenico Cantatore Gallery
This is followed by the Domenico Cantatore section, which contains numerous engravings, sketches and aquatint prints by the artist from Puglia, who spent many summers in the Montefiore countryside. The collection features his famous odalisques, and geometric portraits of men from the south of Italy, and also many sunny landscapes suggestive of the Montefiore environs. He found the natural environment of Montefiore most conducive to his own brand of creativity, which is why he donated his collection to the museum here.
Carlo Crivelli Gallery
The centrepiece of the museum is the Polyptych by Carlo Crivelli, which was painted by the Venetian painter in 1472 for the Church of Saint Francis. There are many other stunning works by Crivelli, demonstrating his ability to use gold and precious stones in his work. Particularly impressive are the headpiece and staff of St Louis of Toulouse and St Catherine of Alexandria’s crown.
Adolfo de Carolis Gallery
The final wing of the exhibition houses Adolfo de Carolis rooms, which displays around five hundred works by this local artist. They are primarily woodcuts and drawings, but there are also sixty-nine preparatory oil sketches for the large fresco decorating the Salone dei Quattromila (the hall of the four thousand) in the Palazzo del Podesta in Bologna, which he painted between 1908 and 1928.
These works are exhibited in a single room, which was probably the refectory of the former monastery of San Francesco, which still retains the original 13th century walls. These are displayed in the original arrangement designed by Carolis for the hall in Bologna but displayed on a metal framework which preserves the historic features of the room.
These sketches give the only surviving evidence of how the hall in Bologna would have looked if it had been finished. Completion was prevented by an earthquake and then the outbreak of the first world war. The woodcuts, studies and drawings were donated to the municipality by the De Carolis family between 1974 and 2006, along with some pieces of furniture from the artist’s studio in Bologna.
Piazza S. Francesco 1, 63062 Montefiore dell'Aso
September/May: 10 am–1 pm; 3 pm–6 pm (Sat–Sun)
June: 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)
July/August: 5 pm–8 pm (Mon–Fri); 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)
September: 5 pm–8 pm (Tues–Fri); 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)