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Papagna Experience: the invisible museum of Valle d’Itria

papagna experience

A museum outside the lines, playful and open-air, with the old town as set and the works are secret stories that become high-tech cultural heritage

Valle d’Itria is made of many different souls. Baroque and precious like Martina Franca; intriguing and, at times, exotic like Ostuni; socialite, innovative but well anchored in its own traditions like Locorotondo; dualistic, between spirituality and worldliness like Cisternino.

And then there is Ceglie Messapica. At first sight, you would describe it as rural, folk and a bit “light-hearted”. However, taking a closer look, going deeper, you realize that sometimes in these “little” town there are small unexpected revolutions, small but fundamental actions of resistance, which move into future without looking back nostalgically at the past.

And it’s right here in Ceglie Messapica, in a cloudy afternoon in March, we went through a unique, really immersive experience. A breakthrough, which has made the ancient a lever to create something new. We entered the Papagna Experience. We entered the first invisible museum in Italy.

papagna experience

The meeting point is the Library of Ceglie Messapica (it worth visiting as well). Here we are given a kit: a map book, a smartphone, a visor, aheadset and a smartphone. We need that to access the digital content hidden between the streets and the houses of the medieval old town.

Following the map, we go forward into the labyrinthine streets of the historical centre guided by the book, looking for the lovely glimpses that treasure the secret city. A little square full of trees, a shady alley, balustrades with curious architectures become portals – thanks to a QR Code – to lyrical and ruthless stories, told in short films in VR (Virtual Reality) and 3D, digital graphic novels, immersive sound stories, chat-like dialogues.

Even though we are knee-deep in the artistic and architectural treasures of the old town, none of the contents are didactic descriptions of monuments, buildings or streets to which they are linked, but they told visionary stories in lyrical – but also dark and pulp – style.

The smartphone is a medium through which to dive into the invisible museum but it also makes the rules of common languages: the emptiness of chats, the high content density of a web series, the evanescence of a blind date planned on a dating app.

Papagna looks like a tv series in the form of a walk, a storytelling atlas for wanderers who never say no to the unexpected. It is the real reflection of our time, so turbulent, harsh and extreme, but brighten by a unique symphony of humanity’s souls and thoughts.

Thus, the stories become effectively tourist attraction. Papagna Experience can do it because its stories are inspired, they have narrative and visual power, they challenge the possibilities of digital languages, they make us think of contemporary world by telling about characters overwhelmed by emotions and drawn into rough, clear-cut conflicts. Today’s world is characterized by easy access to global digital contents from anywhere on Earth, by contrast Papagna Experience overturns this concept drawing its main value: if you are not here, you cannot see it.

It is worth taking a trip to live this experience…

Info e reservation: +39. 339.8432981 – papagna.org – info@papagna.org

 

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