The new “Don Pietro Porta” Museum

“Welcome to the Botanical Museum… Today you are my guest, come on in! I will take you on a tour of the museum dedicated to me: after all, who better to do so than myself? To begin, we have to go back in time to a couple of centuries ago.

Allow me to introduce myself: I am Pietro Porta, born right here in Moerna in 1832. Since I was as a child, I adored nature and people. So when I was 20 years of age, I decided to dedicate my life to God… and I became Don Porta!!! I was sent to many towns across Trentino and then back here in Val Vestino, where I cultivated my great passion for botany. I collected many flower specimens, in fact, some were discovered by me…


I lived a good 91 years collecting and cataloguing a great many flowers: almost 50,000 specimens. My extensive herbarium is kept at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Trento.


I was passionate about collecting and studying flora, not only from the Valley, Giudicarie and Val di Ledro, but also from other regions of Italy and Europe alongside my botanist friends Huster and Rigo.


In collaboration with the Brescia Natural Science Museum, the Comunità Montana Parco Alto Garda has given me a great gift by creating, in the former dairy of Moerna, this special museum dedicated to my life and my botanical exhibition, with the most representative local plant species that I collected. How exciting!!! So now you too can get to know the wonderful plant world that resides here and perhaps love it as I did all my life.


I am in fact a distinguished botanist, from whom you inherit one of the most significant herbaria in Brescia. You should know that Val Vestino is a place that has seen many famous discoverers of the endemic species of these mountains. Cima Tombea, in particular, is a hotspot, a site that is unique in the Alps for the richness and diversity of its flora. Right here, where unique plants grow, the precious finds I collected more than a hundred years ago are the real props you can lean on to enter the immense multidimensional space of botany.”


The lighting, the sophisticated graphics and the sets all contribute to making this museum truly engaging. Information on local endemic species is displayed in an unusual layout, the basic structure of which is the geometric shape of the crystals that make up the prevalent rocks in Val Vestino. Info panels, multimedia tools and films are available along the route to provide in-depth knowledge of the flora and botanical features of the area.


On the ground floor, the architecture of the old dairy has been preserved with the original objects and tools used for milk production. To learn about it in more detail, don’t hesitate to visit the Milk Museum set up at Borgo Persone.

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