Doll Village
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Museo Bambola Santa Giuletta | Museo Delle Bambole Santa Giuletta | Italian Dolls Doll Village

Doll Village

In the heart of Oltrepò Pavese where the plain leaves room for the first offshoots of the Ligurian Apennines, stands the small town of Santa Giuletta, known between the 1950s and 1960s with the nickname "Doll Village".

Teresio Garbagna and Luigi Porcellana, two cousins from Santa Giuletta and owners of the Fata doll factory in Milan, opened the first laboratory in their hometown in 1933. The success obtained by the production of Teresio and Luigi led to the birth in the post-war period of several other companies specialized in the same sector.
The first dolls were made of cloth and papier-mâché, then in the late 1940s polystyrene and polyethylene were used. In the following decade vinyl was used.
Until the 1960s, the doll was not only an expensive toy, but above all a valuable object intended for young brides as a sign of good luck.
The lack of funds to adapt to the radical transformation brought by technological progress and  cheaper offers  coming from other production areas gradually led to the closure of the doll factories starting in the late 1960s.
To keep the memory of this traditional production alive, it was decided in June 2005 to open the Museo della Bambola Santa Giulietta thanks to the interest of the Municipal Administration and the contribution of the European Community.
The primeval collection of dolls, toys, photographs, casts, work tools is enriched every year by the precious and constant activity of the Museum Commission.
For those wishing to learn more about the history of doll production, we suggest "Bambole di Santa Giuletta" by Loretta Ravazzoli, current Director of the Museum.
On the website you can find a photo gallery and further information