The treasures of Scido

Museo dell'arte contadinaScido, a small town in the plain of Gioia Tauro amidst the mountains of Aspromonte is a reserve of treasures of great worth. The museum and the public library “Paolo Greco” are located at the Ruffo Palace, an ancient building erected in 1875 and belonging to an aristocratic family.

A structure annexed to the palace hosts the Museum of Peasant Art where, among other artefacts, a still-working oil press from the early 20th century can be admired. In 1988, a series of frescoes portraying scenes from the peasants’ daily routines were commissioned to local artist Gaetano Zampogna, for the purpose of decorating the upper floor of the palace.

In those same years, the township of Scido acquired the patrimony of Paolo Greco (Delianuova 1894 – Roma 1976), a rich landowner from Delianuova, which had been put up for sale: shortly after his death, when his heirs decided to sell all of his property, they initially proposed the deal to the Township of Delianuova, which declined the offer on the grounds of a lack of financial assets, whereas theTownship of Scido, with a small financial effort, managed to buy all that Paolo Greco had collected over a lifetime: books, jewels and a wide assortment of belongings of incalculable value, including a collection of letters autographed by Luigi Pirandello.La pipa con il volto di Garibaldi - Opera del maestro Rocco De Giglio

The rich patrimony kept at the Ruffo Palace consists of a collection of antique books, dating up to the 16th century, a parchment scroll donated to the city by Emperor Charles V, three autograph letters written by Italian historical figures (Giuseppe Garibaldi, Francesco Crispi, Gabriele D’Annunzio) as well as many volumes on Calabrian culture and history. None the less important are the archaeological and numismatic finds and the ethno-anthropological items, which include some precious clothes, a collection of terracottas, and a bronze bell dated 1950 and donated by the noblewoman Soccorsina Romei Lombardi, which bears the inscription “al viatore stanco segna il tempo che passa, lo squillo canoro di questo bronzo” – “the melodious ring of this bronze bell tells the time to the jaded wayfarer”. This bell once surmounted a big memorial tablet dedicated to the fallen of World War I, which has been quoted by the poet Felice Soffrè and is now on display on the façade of the Town Hall.

Among the most interesting items, there is a precious collection of pipes handcrafted by the artisan Rocco De Giglio (1913-2009), some of which represent historical figures, artists and philosophers.