Antonio Gramsci lived in the old town centre of Ghilarza, between 1898 and 1914, and was the creator and founder of the Italian Communist Party, as well as one of the most influential twentieth century European intellectuals. His modest dwelling brings to mind the image of a family that, in a situation of financial difficulty, transmitted to him the values on which his work was later established. He spent his childhood and adolescence here, educated by his cultured and sensitive mother. He attended primary school in Ghilarza, junior school in Santu Lussurgiu and secondary school in Cagliari, where he started participating in 'battles' for the establishment of free thought. His cultural interests, reading and inclination towards science and mathematics made him stand out. He started to write, after being noticed by the director of the Unione Sarda newspaper. He concluded his studies brilliantly and moved to Turin but his interest in his homeland remained alive in his mind.
In 1965, the Italian Communist Party bought his house in Ghilarza, making it a centre of documentation and research. In order to transform it into a museum, fundamental work was carried out by his nieces and by intellectuals, among whom Vando Aldovrandi. The promotion of events celebrating Gramsci are also their merit: on 27 April, Ghilarza becomes a meeting place and one in which homage is paid to an ideologist who has been translated all over the world. The house is the headquarters of the association that manages the museum. At the end of 2016, the Fondazione Casa Gramsci was created.
The journey through the museum, with images, documents, personal effects and statements will allow you to relive the significant stages of his life: study and thinking, journalistic and political activities, imprisonment and illness. It is organized into six rooms, spread over two floors. In the first room, there is an enlarged reproduction of the letter he wrote to his mother, in which he talks about doing his time in prison for not having changed his opinions. Following on, there is the former kitchen, now a place for meetings and study. A third room contains the library: three thousand books on the history of the labour movement and Gramsci's thinking and work. From the entrance, a staircase will take you to the upper floor, where a bedroom from that period has been reconstructed. In a tape library, there are statements made by forty historical and influential personalities who knew him. On a wall, there is a reproduction of the prison cell in Turi, where he was locked up.