Mount Baldo's Oasis of the Senses in the garden of Eccheli Bàisi Palace
The hands manage to get closer, they touch softly the edges of the leaves, they stop briefly on a detail, then caress its surface. The sense of smell and taste come afterwards in this act of revealing and an expression of joy and amazement appears on that face!
The Oasis of the Senses, an experiential route through the senses and suitable for everybody, can be visited at the garden of Eccheli-Bàisi Palace in Brentonico from August 2014 onwards. Touching in order to understand, to see, to adopt naturalistic aspects, to give a chance to those who are unable to see and to those who can see to learn by using their own senses. The project, presented by the Municipality of Brentonico, has been ranked first among those financed by the ERDF fund (European Regional Development Fund). It is an experiential and multisensory tour suitable for everybody.
The Oasis of the Senses has been designed and created in order to catch, through the sensory experience, the beauty of 4 natural environmental areas of Baldo's Park. A useful project for both disabled people and the community, because a society that excludes some of its members is an impoverished society. The actions meant to improve the disabled people's conditions favour the implementation of behaviours and acts necessary to make the territory accessible to everyone. This is the perspective of the "European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: a renewed commitment for Europe without barriers", aiming at improving social inclusion, well-being and the full exercise of disabled people's rights. This cultural project is meant to promote and guarantee the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by disabled people, allowing them to have access to the natural and cultural heritage.
The facility is composed of 4 metal tanks that reproduce the high-altitude environment, the mixed medium-high wood, the wetland and the mixed medium-low wood. Between each tank there are 4 metal structures. Each position is equipped with a button to listen to the landscape sounds of the various natural environments and which reproduces realistically the sounds of the high-altitude environment. Sounds have been specially recorded in each environment with the use of a directional microphone and then mixed to create a unique and natural artistic composition (soundscaping & sound design), matching animal sounds and songs with the sounds of nature and the reference landscape.
There is a panel with environmental indications translated in Braille, English and German, on which a series of specially-designed tactile shapes are located and that allow visitors to perceive by touch the shape of some plants and animals present in the 4 high-biodiversity environmental areas.
The objectives of this project include:
- the use of the garden as a place where we can get suggestions related to the senses, spatiality, progressive discovery through the creation of a dedicated space;
- the necessity of developing a route able to arouse the user's curiosity, even the disabled people's, (as allowed by the architectural facility and some of the existing infrastructures) which permits through the senses the discovery of some characteristic elements of Mount Baldo's area;
- the promotion of a culture that teaches tourism to have a great role in socialization as a way of integration. The idea of using natural areas, within the debate about the accessibility of the structures built, has only been considered recently. Compared to Anglo-Saxon countries, this kind of culture in Italy is still in its initial phase;
- the use by everybody of a part of the Palace, which leads to the first garden;
- the user's discovery of some typical areas of Mount Baldo, which is part of the Brentonico Reserves Network, through new sensory stimuli; enriching the place with new projects and making it usable also thanks to new audio technologies;
- the improvement of accessibility and usability of infrastructures through the promotion of routes designed according to the different categories of users, even the most disadvantaged ones, opening in this way the environmental and landscape context to disabled people too.
The location choice for the Oasis of the Senses has been the first garden of the Palace, because this space is accessible, wide and suitable for the creation of an itinerary without having to overturn the layout of the Botanical Garden and of the Garden of Simples, located in the underlying area and which have difficult accessibility.
The project also includes the organization of a guided audio tour with 40 audio guides that accompany the visitor from the Local Tourist Office of Brentonico across the town to learn about some of its peculiarities up to Baisi Palace with the visit of the Palace, the Botanical Garden, the Garden of Simples and the Fossil Museum.