Museo dello Spazzacamino is the “place of memory” of this ancient job, that greatly influenced the life in Valle Vigezzo in the past centuries. Every year this small museum receives more than 10,000 visitors from all over the world and offers an interesting and fascinating visit.
On the ground floor of the museum different tools, working-clothes and paintings are displayed in order to recall the history of this job, which is strictly connected with the phenomenon of emigration. You can also admire here the presents given by all the chimney sweeps that come to Valle Vigezzo from all over the world for the International Meeting every year in September. All these gifts are shown in a big showcase: different types of chimneys, ancient stoves, old glass windows and shop signs of chimney sweeps from Holland or Germany, black-and-white pictures of the first years of the 20th century.
On the first floor of Museo dello Spazzacamino you can follow a multi-sensory tour with headphones: while walking through a long horizontal black chimney, the visitor is accompanied by sounds and music and introduced into the world of the chimney sweeps: a sad story of poverty and exploitation, but in some cases an incredible story of success and social climbing. It is really a moving tour for children and adults that makes the visit to the museum a unique experience, that cannot be missed.
The seat of Museo dello Spazzacamino is part of the building of Villa Antonia (the present town hall of Santa Maria Maggiore) and dates back to the end of the 18th century. In origin it was probably a coach-house. The museum was opened in 1982. It was restored and enlarged between 2003 and 2005. Nowadays it is owned by the municipality of Santa Maria Maggiore and run by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, which organizes the International Meeting of Chimney Sweeps.
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps in collaboration with the Municipality of Santa Maria Maggiore and Pro Loco of Santa Maria Maggiore organizes the International Meeting of Chimney Sweeps every year during the first week-end of September. This is really one of the most famous and popular events of Piedmont that aims to celebrate this ancient job.
INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF CHIMNEY SWEEPS
From the end of June until the first week end of September: open from Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am-12.00pm and 03.00pm-06.00pm
Closed from 20th November to February.
During the other months of the year open only on Saturdays and Sundays: 10.00am-12.00pm and 03.00pm-05.00pm.