Franco Ferri Museum of the Ocarina and Terracotta Musical Instruments – Budrio

Via Garibaldi, 35
40054 – Budrio (BO)

051 6928306
051 6928279

The ocarina is a terracotta flute with ten finger holes, with a typical shape recalling a small goose, invented in Budrio in 1853 by a young man named Giuseppe Donati.

The Budrio Ocarina Museum was named after Franco Ferri – one of the founders of the Municipal Ocarina School and a collector of instruments and documents – in 2011, and it tells the story of this peculiar instrument.

The Museum, which took on its current form in 2004, houses hundreds of items – musical and work instruments, photographs, vinyl records, and sheet music – that testify to a local tradition of creativity in addition to a number of experiences elsewhere in Italy and abroad.

Among the items on display are several rare examples of the earliest ocarinas, handmade in the 19th century without using moulds by their inventor Giuseppe Donati; ocarinas made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Cesare Vicinelli, known as the “Stradivari of ocarinas”; and instruments decorated with Art Nouveau friezes and equipped with a metal piston made by the Budrio-born Ercole Mezzetti, who manufactured ocarinas in Paris from 1870 to 1912.

The upper floor features many ocarinas from Japan and Korea, where this instrument has recently become very popular. These include a gigantic Korean ocarina that never fails to astonish visitors. The mezzanine features a selection of ancient terracotta whistles (the ocarina’s ancestor) from various parts of Italy and Europe.

Of particular interest is the information provided on the history of local ocarina bands, the renowned “settimini”, or seven-man bands, which began to perform as early as 1870. Their concerts – which mainly consisted of opera adaptations –   helped the ocarina gain Europe-wide fame.