Air and Space Museum at Due Carrare: the San Pelagio Castle, from which Gabriele D’Annunzio rose in flight toward Vienna, now hosts a complete exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest challenges of mankind: the quest to conquer the skies and space.
The Air and Space Museum at Due Carrare is housed in the castle of San Pelagio, erected during the Middle Ages, and including an ancient defence tower, a central body and two wings, also called “barchesse”. The castle is surrounded by enchanting gardens with very old rose bushes and trees: visitors can stroll along the hornbeam promenade towards the little lake and along the Belvedere as far as the Minotaur Maze. The museum provides a substantial view of the history of flight. It displays more then three hundred models of airplanes, airships and hot-air balloons, and original uniforms, dressed figures, engines and aeronautic items. In the heart of the castle, on the main floor, a large section concerns Gabriele D’Annunzio’s flight over Vienna (9 August 1918). Here there are also the rooms where D’Annunzio, a very important Italian poet and a soldier during World War I, spent a small part of his life; the rooms are adorned with frescoed walls, original pieces of furniture and poet’s belongings such as uniforms. The museum collections include models of remarkable planes, such as the one Lindbergh used for his non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean, those used for sprint races and raids during 1930s, and the plane models with which records were achieved. The cellar of the castle hosts the last section of the rich collections which shows the recent development of aviation and the conquest of space with models of LEM and Columbia space shuttle on display. The castle of San Pelagio hosts a collection of airplanes unique in Europe, and is also well known for the surrounding wonderful park and the amusing Minotaur Maze.