Friday, June 1, 2012

Bagnoregio-Antique Cars Museum

 door handles  on vintage Lancia 

Most  guide books mention Bagnoregio as the site of the "dying city"   and highlight the moonscape of the nearby eroding  hills or calanchi.

facade of abandoned Palazzo Cristofori

But  there is more to see and do in  Bagnoregio  than walk across the modern  cement bridge to the tiny medieval hamlet, all that is left of a once populous town  partially destroyed by numerous earthquakes  in the 17th century.

shadow on Bagnoregio's coat of arms 

The town of Bagnoregio, perched above the calanchi on a spur of tufa stone,  has a long history dating back to Etruscan  and Roman times.

It was home of 13th century  medieval  philosopher and saint, Bonaventure, known as the "Seraphic Doctor"  .  

St. Bonaventure 

green gated  private gardens 

Writer and Germanist Bonaventura Tecchi (1896-1968)  was a native of Bagnoregio who  taught German literature at  the Roman university I attended.  His small book "Antica Terra" is a  series of stories about Civita and Bagnoregio and one of the first books I read  in Italian.

garden  gates  of  Palazzo Tecchi

The Tecchi family home  is a  palazzo  in the center of town surrounded by gardens and guarded by green wrought iron  gates.

Bagnoregio today vants  a  specialized museum dedicated to antique motorcycles and cars which will delight collectors and drivers of all nationalities and ages.  

Museo Piero Taruffi 

The Museum contains   a  fascinating collection of  rarely seen mini cars, the forerunners of today's  Smart cars.
 Their rounded, minimal  shapes and  weird  openings are a delight to behold.

piggy back  


vintage moto Guzzi 
 front opening mini car

mud flaps 

spare tire 

mini car with back to back seats

Car enthusiasts and  restorers of old cars (see my nephew Jake's   Resurrection Auto on Facebook)  will  be  wide-eyed as they visit the Taruffi museum  and its collections.  

curtain tassle and square roof line 

Founded by engineer Piero Taruffi,  the  modern  two-level complex  includes garages   housing  dozens of magnificent examples of old cars, unusual vehicles and  vintage  motorcycles.

three colorful mini cars

hood straps  on a racing car

elegant black sedan 

oil cans and grill 

open motor-truck used in film La Strada 

minimalist interior of a mini-car

 Some  unexpected extras can be found set in various corners of  the museum's  courtyards.  I  was amused by the delightful metal sculptures created by one of the  museum's  members. 

ballerina made from car parts
cabinet with Etruscan vases 

And since we are in Etruscan was no surprise to see a cabinet filled with Etruscan shards and vases. 


  1. Looking at the pictures makes me want to fly to Bagnoregio right away! In fact, I’ve already put Museo Piero Taruffi in my bucket list of travel destinations, but September is giving me a lot of work to do. Maybe next month! I will never miss this! =)

  2. thanks Carson for your comment...there are so many delightful specialists' museums in central Italy...a lifetime is not enough.