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“Father Aurelio Menin” Franciscan Museum – Chiampo

Via Pieve 170 (Convento Francescano) – 36072 Chiampo (VI)
– Fax 0444 426637

Opened in 1972, this museum is dedicated to the memory of its founder, Father Aurelio Menin. The museum is located in the building erected behind the Grotto of Lourdes inside the Franciscan Sanctuary. It is composed of 11 sections dedicated to: musical instruments, mineralogy, zoology, applied geology, photographic herbarium, a gallery of plaster casts, conchology, palaeontology, paleethnology, ethnology and figurative arts.

Collection history

The paleethnological collection located inside the large museum was collected by Father Aurelio Menin from the 50’s to the 70’s of the past century. It can be defined as the result of the patient research, collection and cataloguing work of the finds discovered by the friar in the valley of the river Chiampo. The intense activity of study was completed by the opening of the museum in 1972, one year before his death.


The room dedicated to the Paleethnology collects finds and tools of the ancient Valchiampo from the Lower Palaeolithic Era to the Roman Age.
The first large display case contains materials dating back to the Lower (500,000 to 120,000 years ago) and Middle Palaeolithic Era (120,000 – 40,000 years ago): tools of the Acheulean industry from Ancona and Düsseldorf, cores, points and end scrapers of the Mousterian industry from Valchiampo, Levalloisian blades and flakes from Chiampo and further examples of Mousterian and Levalloisian industry from other Italian sites and areas (Imperia, Latina, Sanremo). There are also a skull of ursus spelaeus (cave bear) and teeth of bos primigenius.
Inside the second display case, there are objects dating back to the Upper Palaeolithic Era (40,000 to 10,000 years ago); a period in which the lithic industry specialized, the bone working and the first artistic and cultural events made their appearance. The items displayed here are mainly examples of the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian lithic industry coming from France. There is also a reconstruction of the Aurignacian hut found in Barca in Slovakia.
The third display case contains in its upper part a wide collection of samples of skulls showing the human evolution from Australopithecus to Homo Sapiens Sapiens, whereas in its lower part there are several lithic tools of the Lower Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic Era coming from Libya.
The fourth display case contains Neolithic and Eneolithic objects coming from both external and local sites.
Several deer antler tools belong to the first category as well as necklace elements coming from Arene Candide (Savona), some bone finds and Libyan Neolithic pottery, a large hand axe from Switzerland and different cores for large French blades. Several square-mouth pots dating back to the Middle Neolithic Era come from the area of Vicenza, from the site of Fimon, a copper axe and pots from Bocca Lorenza, the point of an Eneolithic spear from Chiampo, samples of axes and assembled points and fragments of bell-shaped pots from Madarosa.
The last display case, among those arranged in the middle of the room, is dedicated to the Bronze Age. Among the finds displayed, noteworthy are a sickle from Barche di Solferino, some items of lithic industry and a smelting slag from Chiampo as well as several items (a granite quern, a dagger made from an ox metacarpus, goat teeth and hazel tree and cornel tree seeds) from the pile-dwelling of Ledro in Trento.
The following display cases are arranged along the wall of the room and provide evidence about the four mountain stations of the Chiampo Valley: Monte Calvarina, Monte Madarosa, Monte Parnese and Monte Lago.
The first display case collects both lithic and ceramic objects found between 1958 and 1960 in Monte Calvarina. These include burins, end scrapers, cores, sickle elements, green stone axe fragments, parallel-line decorated pottery, handles of different types, bone/horn and animal teeth.
Inside the following display case, there are ceramic fragments of the Middle Bronze Age from the station of Monte Madarosa: a large biconical pot having a diameter of 92 cm, biconical plates and small pots, two cups with horned handles, a biconical pot with a crested handle, a large cylindrical globular jar, a cup, a handled small pot, a small studded jar, a cup, different types of handles and spindle whorls in different shapes and sizes.
The display case with the finds found in Monte Parnese between 1964 and 1966 contains a high amount of flints (sickle elements, points, denticulate tools and blades, arrowheads, cores, end scrapers and burins), some stone materials (pestles, sleekers, fragments of porphyry and basalt querns) and a small amount of pottery.
The finds coming from the station of Monte Madarosa are also collected in the three following display cases. The first one contains mainly ceramic material: a large globular pot, some plates and pans, several cups and bowls, a large cup with four handles, an approximately cylindrical and a truncated conical pot, a semi-circular pot with embossed bowls and wolf tooth-like graffito lines, some fragments of a globular container with an outgoing edge (single sample in Italy) and a fragment of a restricted-mouthed pot, probably dating back to the Eneolithic Age. The two following cases contain a huge amount of worked flint tools: burins, end scrapers, scrapers, cores, sickle elements, reworked points and blades, denticulate tools, truncated flakes, cutting blades, peaks, chipped stone points and blades, javelin points, stemmed points, truncated points, flint-locks, flint strikers and flint reniform mineral masses. These display cases contain also fragments of an earthen hut floor, objects made from worked bone/horn, animal teeth, stone axes, a dagger, a needle, different querns and burned material residuals.
The last display case contains finds dating back both to the proto-historic and Roman Era coming from the site of Monte Lago nearby Montebello Vicentino. Several fictile items belong to the Final Bronze Age: a biconical carinate cup with a cylindrical handle, reels and spindle whorls, cylindrical handles and strainers.
Some ceramic fragments with different decorations as well as a good amount of animal bones and few flints can be dated back to the following period, the early Iron Age. Inside the display case, some objects of the late Iron Age (5th -2nd century B.C.) stand out; among them particularly noteworthy are some fragments of red and black-striped pots typical of the Venetian tradition, several ornamental objects (a fibula tongue, a copper ring, a pair of copper earrings, a fragment of a bone comb and a bronze pendant) and fictile materials with engraved alphabetical letters.
As far as the Roman Age is concerned, there are three Imperial Age oil lamps, worked earthenware of the Late Imperial Age, a fragment of a small tear olpe, a cinerary urn with the name of the deceased Titus Sulpicius, burnt wheat seeds from Pompei, a funerary cippus of the 1st century A.D. made from Greek pentelic marble from Catanzaro and a silver medal for the opening of the temple of Jupiter Anxur of 81 B.C.


Admission: Negli orari di apertura

Ticket: No

School access

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
Summer Monday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Summer Tuesday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Summer Wednesday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Summer Thursday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Summer Saturday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Summer Sunday 08.00 – 12.00 e 15.00 – 19.00
Winter Monday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00
Winter Tuesday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00
Winter Wednesday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00
Winter Thursday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00
Winter Saturday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00
Winter Sunday 08.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 18.00

Recommended tour time (minutes): 45

Services for visitors




Educational Services


Information boards

Captions under exhibits

Guided Tours

Other activities


Leonardi G. 1973, Materiali preistorici e protostorici del Museo di Chiampo, Vicenza .
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 375-376.

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