This off the beaten path museum in Mantova (or Mantua) is a great stop for children. They'll see the reddest, shiniest, vintage firetrucks, pumps, motorcycles, fire helmets and fire extinguishers of all types. This museum is especially fun for American children because the firetrucks are--well, Italian.
In 1991 the museum was installed in a beautifully restored horse stable and run by a brigade of volunteers who are all retired firemen. They must be taking great care with this collection because people who have visited say there's not even dust on the exhibits. There are over 50 historical vehicles, restored and in remarkable shape. You'll also find a collection of miniature firetrucks and manikins wearing very beautiful vintage firefighting uniforms. The helicopter and amphibious vehicle only add to the kid-appeal of the place.
This is one of those non-touristy things to do with your kids that will separate you from the rest of the tourists and give your children unique memories of their travels in Italy. About 20 miles from Verona, the best thing about this museum is the cost...it's free. As a bonus, the town of Mantova is gorgeous. (The town is called either Mantua or Mantova).
Museo die Vigili del Fuoco
Address: Largo Fire Department - MANTUA (Mantova)
Phone: 0039 0376 22771 - Fax: 0039 0376 227746
Hours: Opening times: Saturday: 14:30 to 18:30. Sunday and holidays: 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 6:00 p.m.. Open on different days upon reservation. Closed from 6th January to 15th February; from 1st to 31st August; On Christmas Day, New Year`s Day and Easter Sunday.
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