The costume museum in Chianale is housed in the old church of the Capuchins, who operated in the valley during the 1600s and 1700s. The Museum was opened on September 13, 2008 at the conclusion of a long and delicate renovation work.
It houses a rich documentation of the valley’s customs and textile handicrafts. The traditional dress of women constitutes in the three highest municipalities of the Varaita Valley a complex apparatus that in reference to a precise territorial area is the expression of an equally precise cultural unity.
It is the dress that on this territory has been until recent times the most effective tool for expressing the “situation” of the woman in its many aspects (her social and family position, her age, a possible bereavement…) in reference also to the calendar (work days and holidays, carnival and Lent…).
And in the mental representation of this dress, its antiquity plays an important role because “it has been worn since time immemorial” or at least “since very remote ages.”
In Chianale on August 10, during the patronal feast of St. Lawrence, men, women and children can be seen in traditional costume.
Particularly interesting is the women’s clothing (chamisolo) made of black woolen cloth (also wedding cloth ), with three large pleats on the back and straight, with no shrinkage at the waist.
It is adorned with an apron and shawl, cotton or silk for brides, in rather bright colors. Also valuable is the bonnet (the bero), the brim of which is made of a wide bobbin lace, sometimes made with hundreds of bobbins. The patronal festivals in which the costumes are paraded always have a religious part (Holy Mass, Procession with costumes and enchantment, public auction whose proceeds are donated to the chapels) and a secular one that includes various entertainment, games and the inevitable evening dance.
The museum offers a key to understanding the sundials that are painted on houses and religious buildings throughout the municipality. Interesting are the photographic panels that suggest an ancient conception of time; it is possible to see documents and tools used by Bellino gnomonists and to watch a film in which some Bellino residents talk about the passage of time.
B.ta Celle, at former elementary school premises. Entrance fee, open in summer
Info: City of Bellino,
tel. 346/9507422 – email@example.com