This past week, I had the exciting experience of visiting the official headquarters of Massa Lubrense’s Archeoclub.
What is Archeoclub?
Archeoclub d’Italia is an association that is all over Italy with individual organizations in different areas throughout the country.
Each of these sub-organizations of Archeoclub d’Italia have their own management and members, and they do their own archeology work in their area.
Their mission is to preserve the history of Italy and by doing this, allow people to put pieces of the past together to gain knowledge and keep it safe for future generations to learn about it.
Massa Lubrense Chapter
Massa Lubrense’s Archeoclub was created 50 years ago.
Stefano Ruocco is the president and has been a part of it all from the very beginning.
I was lucky enough to ask him questions directly and gain insight from such an important person to this mission.
He conveyed to me that the goal of Archeoclub is to save and then to protect what they saved.
Hearing from Archeoclub Interns
I was fortunate enough to be able to talk with two fellow Sant’Anna internship students, Samantha and Jenna.
They are both studying interior design at their home university, but their internships are at Archeoclub in Massa Lubrense.
They were gracious enough to bring me to Archeoclub’s headquarters, show me around, introduce me to who they work with, and allow me to ask questions regarding what they do.
Projects of Archeoclub
They walked me through the projects they are currently working on and what they have previously worked on.
Their semester started off with them designing a website all about Massa Lubrense – an “open museum” to build the story of the place instead of just giving information.
They built it themselves, visited numerous sites around the town to obtain historical information and explanations, and then transported it all to their website for visitors to see everything that Massa has to offer, in English.
Their current project is super exciting, for both them and for Archeoclub.
They are using their background and knowledge in interior design to execute an Archeoclub museum + meeting place concept.
This is to show the community what Archeoclub really is, what they’ve discovered and will continue to, and to provide a space to tell history specific to this area.
The highlight of my visit was definitely playing a matching game.
This was with photographs of still in-tact artifacts and then the correct corresponding pieces of the actual artifacts.
I played along with Samantha and Jenna.
We only had a few minutes to match the pieces together, and I did not do too well.
It was so much harder than I imagined and I gained so much admiration for archeologists who do that for a living.
The Archeoclub just recently orchestrated their 7th annual festival, “BookSophia”.
This is a three day festival that aims to invite others to learn and understand the history + roots of where we are.
There’s three major ancient roots that are focused on through BookSophia: Latin, Greek, and Mediterranean.
The Latin roots focus on Heritage.
In this context, the Roman Empire history, what was built, and what it means to be a citizen.
The Greek roots refer most to the idea of citizens becoming members of a community and taking part in said community, the part past just becoming a citizen.
Lastly, the Mediterranean roots shine through in customs and commonalities in a culture.
For example, in Italy, offering someone a coffee, an espresso, is something common that communicates something unsaid, like making someone feel welcome or comfortable.
All three of these come together during BookSophia to create a large space where everyone is comfortable.
Everyone is welcome to come and learn, celebrate, and engage in their community.
I am super excited to see what else is to come from Archeoclub and to keep up with their current work.
Feel free to visit their Facebook page for the most up to date information!