Accessibility: Tattile Varese Museum

Today we inaugurate a new column in our Blog, in which we will point out those places of culture, which are constantly committed to overcoming architectural, cognitive and sensorial barriers.

We begin our journey with the Tattile Varese Museum ( which has made accessibility its flag, not only creating experiences within the museum space addressed to people with disabilities, but communicating constantly with the external public, through the use of social channels, their activities, telling them through the use of words, images and videos, to be able to reach the widest possible audience and involve them in the life of the Museum.

To do so we thought to interview the manager Livia Claudia Cornaggia, a dear friend of mine and that moreover is called just like my little girl, when we met we both thought, is the destiny that made us meet, together we will do great things !

Then Livia tell us a little bit of history of this fantastic museum, from where the idea of ​​a museum was born in which the watchword is “TOUCH”:
We started from the models for architecture and the belief that they could (and almost should) have an explanatory and ‘didactic’ function that went beyond their ‘natural’ role. So we started to study the theme of tactile models and everything related to the possible ways to tell art, architecture and archeology in tactile form and at the end we arrived at the project of the Tattile Varese Museum which hosts only models wooden tactile.

“Accessibility”, I currently find that it is a word that is abused, in your opinion what does “accessible place” mean? I confess that at the word I assign a much broader meaning, accessible to me, means “a place within which everyone, but everyone, can have fun and learn through their own abilities”.
Ivana, finally someone who says it, good !! Accessibility is now a term not only abused, but that in my opinion is used to ‘wash the conscience’ compared to a lot of cultural ‘barriers’ that continue to exist. I think exactly as you do, the concept of accessibility must be understood in a much wider sense than is commonly done. For me it is accessible, for example, a museum suitable for everyone, simple, able to create involvement, excitement and fun even in those who have no preliminary preparation, even in those who do not know in the least the matter that the museum deals with. The case of our museum in this sense in my opinion is exemplary: born for those who do not see, but is visited especially by those who see. Because? But because the simplification necessary to communicate the art world to those who do not see is extraordinarily effective and engaging for everyone.

Would you change, would you improve something inside your museum?
I would improve everything !!! ;-) Seriously for us the real problem – being a small private museum – is finding funds. The greater availability of funds would allow us to grow faster in terms of the number of models and above all to communicate ourselves to a wider public. Having more funds would allow us to give life to a greater number of training courses, seminars, meeting moments, all of which are fundamental for us in order to broaden and make stronger and stronger relationships and reciprocity between people who move within the of culture and above all of the dissemination of culture through ‘particular’ channels. So to answer with a joke I would say: I would improve our museum by making it grow and ‘opening’ more and more!

What do you think is necessary that a museum always has, to be able to define itself as a “place of accessible culture”, beyond of course the provisions of the law.
Goodwill and imagination, creativity. I am not joking! It is true that – as I said a moment ago – having economic means is obviously essential to grow (and therefore also to be increasingly open to all and accessible), but it is also true that where there are no funds, must arrive creativity, the invention of ‘plans b’. I’ll give you an example: painting can be transposed in tactile form to make it accessible to those who do not see. But if you do not have the means to follow this path, there is a fantastic alternative that is that of the narration, of the verbal description of things. If I tell you a picture because you can not see it, it is possible that my story – if it is passionate and exhaustive – ‘functions’ even for those who see us, but perhaps does not have the preliminary knowledge to understand the work. In short, accessibility must be a transversal concept that walks through the walls with simplification, with the easy (and possibly fun) dissemination of beauty and history.

Thank you for your time.


The idea for this article was born to be able to join the initiative #quotidianoaccessibile launched for the month of July by the blog mammahalerotelle (, where Sofia speaks, I quote textually, “without fear and without veils of the world of disability and the way in which we mothers overcome this obstacle “. And as often happens, it has turned into a real heading, where we will talk about “accessibility to culture” at three hundred and sixty degrees.

I thank Sofia, a source of continuous inspiration for me.


Tags: Culture, Accessible, Museum


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