Museo Dei Tarocchi
Via Arturo Palmieri, 5
40047 RIOLA di Vergato, (Bologna) Italy
Reservations Needed
Director: Morena Poltronieri
Tel. (011-39) + 051916563 Cell (011-39) + 3394675826
*Note - if calling from U.S., Italy country code: 39. Dial 011-39 and the rest of the number.

A journey into Emilia Romagna’s historical palaces discovering a magical world of the Major Arcana

0 - Fool Card There are places, which keep precious secrets - the footprints of a past hidden within the images of art and history. Our journey shifts through historical investigation, iconographic itineraries and parallel worlds that relate to Tarot and all the experiences that carved - like marble statues, this incredible form of Art!

The archetypes of the various Tarot images can be traced to Milan – and the court of the Viscontis - and to Ferrara and Bologna. The latter gave Tarot the so-called “southern style”, the most popular of the three, which can’t be related to any particular court. It is actually in Bologna where our journey into the world of the Major Arcana begins…

Museo dei Tarocchi FIRST PATH
Riola (Bologna)
ancient Etruscan place A visit to the Museo Dei Tarocchi, where the unique works of artists from all over the world, creatively conveys the world of the Trumps.

Montovolo (Bologna) – A visit to the sacred mountain: the oracle center celebrated by the church - ancient glories related to Etruscan and Celtic cultures, eventually return as an imaginary world traced back to the Templars. The significance of the pilgrimage as related to Tarot will be explored.

Misa (Bologna) – an excursion to the museums and the archaeological site in the only entirely preserved Etruscan town in the world. Divinity in the Etruscan culture will be discovered, from omens to Runes…

Tour’s Total time: 1 day

Bologna -
Archiginnasio: the study of Bologna, when astrology rhymed with medicine…
In the anatomic theatre the constellation of stars crown a Pythagorean setting! Piazza Maggiore, the passionate heart of the city, is an excuse for a historical exploration of the origins of Tarot in town: from Bernardino da Siena’s burning of Tarot to the affaire Montieri.

Church of San Petronio: in the magnificent Bolognini chapel, view the classic iconography of the Hanged Man. The church, with its 22 chapels celebrates the world of Bolognese art within symbols and heresies.

King Enzo Palace, the son of Frederic II: view the place of his captivity, which was the culmination of his spiritual journey.

The Neptune Fountain: an example of an overlay of Pagan and Christian symbols, a monument worth deciphering.

 Fibbia Castracani Felicini Palace: of Fibbia Castracani, the legendary inventor of Tarot, according to Oswald Wirth - this is acknowledged to be the place where Leonardo painted the magnificent Mona Lisa, and is situated on a historical street that is full of hermetic symbols.

Bocchi Palace: Achille Bocchi, the master of the language of paradox and the symbolism of mythology, from ancient Egypt. His academy (today a private study) is full of symbolic ponderings…

The Jewish Village: the mystical world of Tarot meets the Cabbala and alchemy within one of the most enchanted places in town.

Poggi Palace: Niccolo dell’ Abate’s painting reminiscent of the game of Tarot in Bologna.

Saint James Church: View Lorenzo Costa’s Triumph of Fame and Death, inspired by Petrarch’s source for the XXI and XIII Major Arcana.

The Two Towers: the city’s most important symbols may conjure up parallels to the Devil and Tower archetypes, while discovering their history.

Saint Stephen – Isis guides us through the century in a place where ancient masters hid symbols, and art that inspired Dante’s Inferno (the fortune-tellers).

Saint Domenico Church: Bologna’s tribunal of Inquisition, not only with regards to the Tarot, but also because it was where witches were burned. Historical investigation into witches and heresies in Bologna, reveals the scene where attempts to suppress and undermine the world of the Arcana occurred.

Saint Francis Church: the analysis of the portals recalls an allegoric pathway, which features alchemy, astrology, and hermetic magic.

The Colonnade of St. Luke: 666 arcades lead the pilgrim towards the top of the mountain overlooking the city, where the old black Virgin attributed to Saint Luke is displayed.

Tour’s Total time: 1 day

Ferrara -
Ferrara Cathedral The Pythagorean Cathedral: the secret patterns and geometries conceal a hermetic value. One of the first representations of the fiendish portrayal of the devil inspires the Tarot, as well as the gorgeous tympanum and its depiction of the final judgment, most likely inspired by the Masters from Strasbourg.

The Cathedral Museum – Cosmé Tura and the Officina Ferrarese - a melting-pot of artists and magicians celebrates the hermetic mysteries and symbols.

Schifanoia Palace: unique in the entire world – the astrological Decans set the scene for a court where the world of Tarot experienced honor and grandeur!

Ferrara 'Clock Tower Castle' Casa Romei: View the Sibyls around the fireplace. The old prophets painted in a beautiful room, wink at San Bernardino da Siena’s beautiful sun, the city’s real talisman, that was inspired by the micro world of Tarot.

The Ferrara Castle: the Wheel of Fortune and heraldry - the art of the crest transforms into an image that longs to be interpreted…

Tour’s Total time: 1 day

Modena -
Modena Cathedral Piazza Grande: Pico della Mirandola in connection with Ramon Llullo, l’Ars Memorandi – as related to the origins of Tarot.

The Cathedral Modena: a beautiful architectural wonder from the 11th century, reveals the mystical history of mediaeval symbols, from the portal of the ages, to the concept of time viewed from a transcendent vision.

Matteo Boiardo, the city’s Governor, is also the creator of a very personal Tarot deck.

Tour’s Total time: 1/2 day

Rimini -
Malatesta Temple The Malatesta Temple: the chapel of planets celebrates Basino da Parma’s genius; (the author of astrological symbols), which makes this an unforgettable temple.

Tour’s Total time: 1/2 day

Parma -
Parma Saint John’s Camera Picta: Correggio’s profane stories full of pagan symbols.

Church of the Steccata: Parmigianino, the fresco of the Virgins, is the prelude to alchemic art that gave Tarot new insight.

Antelami’s Baptistery: a unique work that turns stone into a magical book longing to be interpreted.

Tour’s Total time: 1 day

Thematic Guided Tours

It is possible to arrange special guided tours exclusively with the Museum when booking ahead that will allow you to enter a spellbound world of the Tarot through innumerable interpretive channels.

Reading the Symbols: You begin with the archetypes that the Tarot may evoke, to decipher the deepest meanings and connect them to existing symbols found in the principal artistic and architectural realizations of Italian cities. Every experience offers a bridge between Medieval and Renaissance Art, up to present time.
Esoteric Assessment: Through the analysis of the symbol we will visit ancient stories and myths, which carry mysterious currents that have influenced the history of the Tarot throughout the world.
The History of the Tarot: China, India, the Gypsies, Egypt, the Cabal and all the other hypotheses that may have influenced our understanding of the history of Tarot will be examined.
Iconography of the Tarot in Art: A journey through sources that have influenced ancient art, myth and symbology until contemporary times.
The Tarot and Interpretative Art: The 22 Major Arcana envisioned as an evolutionary path.
Tarot and Sibyls: A comparison between these two different interpretational methods.
Comparison of Symbols: A comparative look at the symbolic language of Tarot, Astrology, Runes, Ogham, and the I-Ching will be explored.
Magic Garden: practical presentations, seminars and courses designed to create an atmospheric Garden inspired by the Tarot.
Tarot and Comics: the magic of images found in the world of illustration.
LabOratorim: meetings to realize research projects, artistic pursuits, and meditations on the Tarot.
Labs for Children: The world of fables associated with the Major Arcana.

*Join a future Tarot Art & History Tour of Italy!
organized by Arnell Ando & Michael McAteer with Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli of Museo dei Tarocchi.
Contact Arnell for information.

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