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Cuchi Museum

Terracotta whistles: fragile calls of love

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Where is

Veneto

Via XXVII Aprile, 16, 36010 Cavrari VI, Italia (1,042m s.l.m.)

Directions
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What it is and where it is

Cesuna's former elementary school is home to the Cuchi Museum, a personal collection of terracotta whistles from around the world. Born out of Gianfranco Valente 's passion for these small handcrafted creations, the Museum offers a rich and colorful exhibit that traces the history of cuchi and immerses visitors in the poetry of distant traditions and the time devoted to patient handwork.

Why it's special

The Cuchi Museum is an unusual place full of charm. Thousands of colorful whistles of all shapes and sizes tell stories and legends now forgotten. Made of humble material, shaped by the craftsman's imagination and animated through blowing, cuchi are cute, ironic, sometimes even provocative objects; so old as to originate the popular expression in Venetian dialect "vecio come el cuco." The collection is now one of the largest in the country.

Not to be missed

In thelast week of April, to celebrate the patron saint, Canove di Roana hosts the customary Sagra di San Marco e dei Cuchi. The characteristic whistles invade the stalls and, once purchased, are played by adults and children, cheerfully animating the streets of the plateau.

A bit of history

Since ancient times (in Europe the oldest find dates back to the Bronze Age!), terracotta whistles were made all over the world for the purpose of reproducing bird c ries and announcing spring. As magical objects they were used in rituals to summon benign spirits and ward off evil forces. Later they also acquired a playful significance (they were found in Egypt in children's tombs) to eventually become objects of artistic craftsmanship.

Trivia

There was a time when on the Asiago Plateau, during the Sagra di San Marco, cuchi were given to maidens by their suitors as a pledge of love. Besides being good luck charms, cuchi have since become a symbol of love and friendship.

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