Attn: harp lovers

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The world’s first and only museum devoted entirely to harps opened in January ’06 in Piasco, Italy: Museo dell’Arpa Victor Salvi (Via Rossana 7, Piasco, Italy; www.museodellarpavictorsalvi.it).

The exhibition of 30 harps (from a collection of over 70) includes 13 from the 1700s, 11 from the 1800s and six from the 1900s. Sixteen were made in France, six in the United States, five in England and one each in Italy, Germany and Ireland. I do not play the harp, myself, but it was interesting.

The museum is named for the legendary Victor Salvi, harpist for the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini and Mitropoulos, whose father was a harp maker in Viggiano. Victor Salvi started his own harp manufacturing company half a century ago (he was born in 1920). The Victor Salvi Foundation is run by his wife, Julia, and it awards scholarships, sponsors competitions and commissions new works. The museum’s director is Mark Hayman, from Brooklyn.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission was €5 (near $6.50) when we visited in March ’06.

There is a large Salvi sign at the entrance to an industrial park. The “7” in the museum’s address is for the entire park; follow further Salvi signs until you find the museum at the far side of the industrial complex.

Piasco is located in northern Italy, roughly halfway between Torino, Italy, and Monte Carlo, Monaco. It is not found on most maps. From southern France, drive to Ventimiglia and go north to Cuneo, Italy, via Col de Tende (Colle di Tenda). Continue north on SS589 to Busca and Costigliole Saluzzo, then follow signs to Piasco, which is nearby to the west. From Torino, take SS23 southwest to Pinerolo and go south on SS589 to Verzuolo, then follow the signs west to Piasco.

On the way down from Pinerolo, do stop at Staffard Abbey (nine kilometers north of Saluzzo, not to be confused with Costigiole Saluzzo), founded in 1135. It consists of a church begun in 1150, a cloister, a capitular hall, a refectory and a covered market.
It’s open 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-6 p.m. (2:30-5 in winter) and is closed Mondays. It is well worth a visit.

VINCENT JOLIVET
Kenmore, WA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The world’s first and only museum devoted entirely to harps opened in January ’06 in Piasco, Italy: Museo dell’Arpa Victor Salvi (Via Rossana 7, Piasco, Italy; www.museodellarpavictorsalvi.it).

The exhibition of 30 harps (from a collection of over 70) includes 13 from the 1700s, 11 from the 1800s and six from the 1900s. Sixteen were made in France, six in the United States, five in England and one each in Italy, Germany and Ireland. I do not play the harp, myself, but it was interesting.

The museum is named for the legendary Victor Salvi, harpist for the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini and Mitropoulos, whose father was a harp maker in Viggiano. Victor Salvi started his own harp manufacturing company half a century ago (he was born in 1920). The Victor Salvi Foundation is run by his wife, Julia, and it awards scholarships, sponsors competitions and commissions new works. The museum’s director is Mark Hayman, from Brooklyn.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission was €5 (near $6.50) when we visited in March ’06.

There is a large Salvi sign at the entrance to an industrial park. The “7” in the museum’s address is for the entire park; follow further Salvi signs until you find the museum at the far side of the industrial complex.

Piasco is located in northern Italy, roughly halfway between Torino, Italy, and Monte Carlo, Monaco. It is not found on most maps. From southern France, drive to Ventimiglia and go north to Cuneo, Italy, via Col de Tende (Colle di Tenda). Continue north on SS589 to Busca and Costigliole Saluzzo, then follow signs to Piasco, which is nearby to the west. From Torino, take SS23 southwest to Pinerolo and go south on SS589 to Verzuolo, then follow the signs west to Piasco.

On the way down from Pinerolo, do stop at Staffard Abbey (nine kilometers north of Saluzzo, not to be confused with Costigiole Saluzzo), founded in 1135. It consists of a church begun in 1150, a cloister, a capitular hall, a refectory and a covered market.
It’s open 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-6 p.m. (2:30-5 in winter) and is closed Mondays. It is well worth a visit.

VINCENT JOLIVET
Kenmore, WA