There are people who love nature, others who prefer architecture. There are food lovers and history lovers. In the following article, you will find all the magic that will make you love museums. One of the museums that will make you love museums is ‘Museo del Bottone’ in a town called Santarcangelo di Romagna in Italy!
The magic happened back in 2018 when my friend and I suddenly found the Button Museum or Museo del Bottone di Giorgio Gallavotti. This little tiny magical place is located in a little tiny magical town called Santarcangelo di Romagna, Italy. Santarcangelo is just 10 km away from Rimini. A single train ride is around 7-8 minutes long and costs 1,50 euro. It can also be reached by bus, car or bike. And there the magic starts… I lived in Rimini for 6 months and had the chance to visit the town 4-5 times. I couldn’t miss showing this hidden Italian pearl to the world.
Santarcangelo di Romagna
But this post is not about the amazing architecture, the great views from the top of the hill nor for the great 5 euro aperitivo in the city center. This is a story about the most charming museum I’ve ever visited and for its incredibly gentle host.
It was my second time in Santarcangelo, walking on the streets with my Italian friend when suddenly a bunch of people stopped us and invited us to enter the Museo del Bottone. They welcomed us with sweets and wine and explained it was the 10th anniversary of the museum’s opening.
History of Museo del Bottone
That was a very good beginning but not the magic I was talking about. Let me tell you a bit about the history of this place:
Mr. Giorgio Gallavotti owned an old haberdashery opened by his father back in 1929. In the old warehouse, there were two whole walls of boxes full of buttons. With a lot of patience, he started sewing them on panels and then framed them. In 1996 he showed his art in two exhibitions. In 2001 the Municipal Administration offered him to exhibit his works in a shop in the city center. The exhibition was a huge success and that’s how the Museo del Bottone was born in 2008.
Buttons Exhibited in the Museo del Bottone
And there is the magic – Small accessories, which a collector has saved from the dust of time and preserved, are carefully cataloged and with exquisite creativity to offer us a wonderful color show.
In the museum you can jump into a fairytale – there are buttons from all over the world, and even ones donated from Nasa. Buttons that were worn by kings and queens, celebrities, athletes, actors. There are buttons from the Pope, from different epochs and centuries. Some of them are collected from Mr. Gallavotti by himself during his worldwide trips, others are donated from people like me – people who support his cause and feel the magic.
Mr. Gallavotti is the storyteller who will always welcome you in the warmest way. His Italian gentle manners won’t leave you indifferent. He can tell you the story of each and every button and he will only want to hear your story and to bring him on a short fairy trip in your own country. Then he will ask you to write something in your own language in the museum’s guest book and most probably he will surprise you with a paper print article that was made in your own language.
Information about the Museo del Bottone
The entrance of the museum is free of charge. The working hours are from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00 (Mondays and holidays are days off.
If you have the chance to go to Italy and you’re near Rimini, don’t hesitate to spend a day in Santarcangelo di Romagna and don’t miss the magic of the Museum of Buttons and Mr. Gallavoti’s stories.
And if I got your attention, you can find more interesting information and posts in the following links:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuseoDelBottone
PS: Even if you cannot visit the place but feel like you have some old buttons you don’t need, you can easily donate them to the museum and make an old charming man happier than before. 🙂
Keep smiling and don’t skip the small things in life.