The hall of the labyrinth
The Hall of the Labyrinth includes games and ritual performances from ancient civilisations, the ancestors of the Fairs of later eras and the Amusement Parks of today.
Particular care has been taken with the layout of the Museum’s various rooms. The set-up is comprised of counter walls and false ceilings, which are not simply decorative and ornamental, but above all a functional element of the cultural content they become part of. By covering non-essential windows and doors, the counter walls block out the outside environment, allowing visitors to view the spectacle without distraction. In addition, the colours, designs and background figures of the counter walls and false ceilings serve to create fantastic and evocative atmospheres alluding to specific historical periods.
In this first room dedicated to the labyrinth, in an original layout that takes on the symbolic form of the labyrinth itself, attention is drawn to the suspended ceiling. The ceiling is a theatrical element representing the eternal and infinite starry sky which, in its apparent stillness, overlooks the human events of all times and all civilisations.
The layout allows visitors to explore the cultural content of the museum in two different forms, as they prefer:
- A reading of the key points, through the texts and images displayed on the walls and the objects located throughout the exhibition;
- An in-depth exploration of the material through the images, videos and films shown on the monitors and also on large screens placed throughout the entire Museum.
These are the topics that visitors can learn about, briefly or in depth, in the Hall of the Labyrinth:
- The labyrinth in myth and its historical evolution;
- the divinatory arts as practised throughout the ages;
- the underground routes in Egyptian mythology that give rise to the Witches' Tunnel and ghost castles;
- the Egyptian origins of the “Greasy Pole.”
The Hall ends with the breath-taking spectacles of the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome.
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The museum is divided into three sections, corresponding to three consecutive historical periods
The Market Fair (1000-1750)
Fairs in the medieval period were both markets and shows, featuring street performers in churchyards on the feast days of patron saints.
Merchants and hucksters, charlatans, storytellers, theatrical performers and puppeteers brought the town squares to life.
The Pleasure Garden(1750-1950)
Alongside puppet shows, marionettes and circus performers, the Industrial Revolution introduced increasingly complex mechanical devices, such as the merry-go-round, to enliven these early amusement parks.
The Amusement park (1950 to the present day)
The pleasure garden became fully mechanised thanks to new energy sources and technological advances. The digital age arrived, and the most dizzying and adrenaline-pumping amusement park attractions ever were born.