"A history of men and waters”

permanent exhibition

in short

The exhibition has been called “A history of men and waters”, with the intention of setting up an in-dissoluble link between the two major actors dominating the scene in the museum and whose interaction has been historically significant: man and water.
La sala della pompe
© Comune di Argenta

Visitor entrance

Museum of land reclamation; Water-scooping system of Saiarino
via Saiarino
44011 Argenta

Detailed information about the museum on euromuse.net

Museo della bonifica

in detail

The route winds through the park and the buildings of the work yard, and the visitor needs an average time of 90 minutes to walk through it. It is also possible to arrange any tours and alternative routes in accordance with the groups’ educational needs or the visitors’ special interests.

The only way to visit the museum is by a guided tour, the museum being located inside an active work yard, which continuously monitors the situa­tion of water in order to intervene in case of danger.

The drain of the bye-wash, located downhill from the plant, is supposed to carry water away from the channel; it also welcomes tourists and functions as ticket office and tour orientation centre. Historical cartog­raphy opens up the topic by contextualising this territory from both a historical and a morphological perspective, which is of paramount importance to the understanding of the water issue of the area.

The archeological walkpath is taken around the park in the open air, along the path that links the drain to the water-scooping plant; on both sides of this path a sandy plastic model showing the hydrodynamics and some of the main tools and machines used for reclamation works are displayed, among which the following ones have to be mentioned: the terminal pipe of a pump that has fallen into dis­use and that has been replaced by more advanced pumps made in stainless metal, the little train that used to carry the ground during the excavation works of channels and the embankments construction, the spiral system of the water-scooping pump, which is central to the working of the pump itself, the mower blades, used for cleaning the channels’ beds, the pile driver, used for putting up posts deep into the ground of embankments, thus reinforcing them.

The PUMPS ROOM, is the heart of the living work yard and of the museum, and can be reached through the cantilever roof overlooking the big delivery tank. Here are six pumps that always catch the visitors’ eyes for their grandeur. They lift up the Lorgana tributary channel’s waters, re­ceived by low lands, and afterwards they let them into the tank before the building. From this tank waters will subsequently flow, in a controlled way, into the Lorgana tributary channel and will end up flow in the direction of the overflowing terrain case of Campotto and the Reno river. These pumps, therefore, perfectly work and, having been preserved so well, they represent an important piece of evidence of industrial archaeology. Al-though the original equipment has been replaced by some more modern machinery, some old exemplars of it have been kept and are nowadays displayed in the room, such as the exciter, used for supplying power to the pumps, and the lymnigraph measuring hydrometrical levels by a system of floats and pulleys.

The thermoelectrical plant, which can be reached by going along the path that runs along the Lorgana Channel, houses the second wing of the museum. This building has preserved its original indus­trial look, and it is composed of two floors:
On the ground floor the hail functions as an information point. There have been placed some statues and pictures that celebrate the characteristic figure of the scari­olante, a true protagonist of the land reclamation process, who would carry wheelbarrows of about 80-100 Kg all along the embankments. There is some more photographic documentary evidence telling us about the ex­ploitation of Austro-Hungarian prisoners for reclamation works during World War I, and also about the workers’ waiting for those infrequent holi­days, among which the 1st May would be the most meaningful from a social point of view.

Then, by walking through the so-called corridor of the “electric dictionary” Written in 1857 by Niccolò Tommaseo, you will reach the room where the alternator turbine has been placed. Afterwards keep going until you arrive in the boilers room where you will have the opportunity to observe the original boilers that used to produce all the necessary steam for the activation of both the turbine and the alternator. Today, one of the boilers has been dismantled to make some room for more modern oil fed generators that start functioning ei ther in states of emergency or in case of a power black-out.

Finally, a show about how power would be transmitted to the pumps room through the activation of a big industrial switch is held in the so-called room of the “big click” or of the “big switches” .

On the ground floor, the first room that welcomes visitors is the computer room, equipped with multimedia workstations that are meant to have an educa­tional purpose.

In the adjoining room it is possible to see the system to electric energy shunting to the water-scooping pumps.
The visit ends with a display room presenting a collection to images, objects and pictures that go over the whole history of the reclamation works of this area, starting from the Papal State’s annexation, up to the establishment of the Renana (from the river Reno) Reclamation Consortium, the activity to which still continues. Not only do images tell about reclamation works, but they also report the numbers and the means, as well as the pieces of evidence provided by those travellers who had to go through these places. A craft used for the maintenance to marshy grounds and channels.

To conclude, the so-called “theatre of seasons” offers a video en­titled “A history of men and waters”, presented in a bilingual version (Eng­lish and Italian).
The exhibition venue on google maps:


archaeology, war, art, text, photograph, World War I, excavation, buildings, education, dance, hunting, water, industrial archaeology and working plant, history of the reclamation works, adriamuse, energy, machinery, tea, travel, theatre

Opening Times

09:00 - 13:00
09:00 - 13:00
09:00 - 13:00
09:00 - 13:00
09:00 - 13:00
09:00 - 13:00
Museum of land reclamation (Saiarino water pumping plant, via saiarino)
Open every day, except Monday. Guided Tours: first tour at 9.00 am – second tour at 11.00 am; Afternoon visits booking only.
Guided tour booking - + 39 0532 808058.

euromuse.net - The exhibition portal for Europe