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Visiting the Mazzoni Museum, Maldonado, Uruguay: Colonial Artifacts and Memories of Garibaldi

Updated on January 22, 2018
Flag of Uruguay
Flag of Uruguay | Source
Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado
Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado | Source

Uruguayan history coming alive

At Ituzaingó 789, in Maldonado, Uruguay is the Mazzoni Museum (Spanish: Museo Mazzoni)(1), named for a local historian, who died in 1978, whose residence houses many colonial-era artifacts.

This building is known as the Casa de Fajardo, dating from 1782, which was still well within the colonial period.

The Casa de Fajardo is a typical low, colonial-era single storey structure with a moderately ornate frontage, but with a considerably bigger interior than the size of the visible street frontage might appear otherwise to suggest. Inside the building, the Museum runs to 12 rooms.

To be seen at the Museum are gaucho crafts, antique furniture and examples of local crafts (2).

The Maldonado Department authorities are responsible for the upkeep of the Museum.

There are also items linked with the historic figure Giuseppe Garibaldi: although strongly identified with the unification of Italy, he also resided in Uruguay and, indeed, served with military success as an Admiral in the Navy of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay (3).

I myself was fascinated by Uruguay's link with Garibaldi. It would have been good to be able to spend longer in this absorbing Museum.

January 22, 2018


(1) In full, the Museo Regional de Maldonado "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni".

(2) See also:

(3) The River Uruguay varies considerably in depth, and Garibaldi and local mariners with a detailed knowledge of the Uruguay River's channels met with considerable success manoevering against ocean-going British Royal Navy vessels. Garibaldi married Anita Ribeiro da Silva — a skilled horsewoman — in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1842. He participated in the Uruguayan Civil War and was allied with the Colorado Party, led by Fructuoso Rivera. Garibaldi was often identified as being partial to gaucho attire.

Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado
Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado | Source
Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado
Casa de Fajardo, 1782, the "Ramón Francisco Mazzoni" Regional Museum of Maldonado | Source
Garibaldi, 1870
Garibaldi, 1870 | Source

Also worth seeing

In the city of Maldonado itself, the Dragones barracks have associations with Uruguayan Independence-Era leader General José Gervasio Artigas; San Fernando Cathedral dominates the Downtown area; Punta del Este , within the Maldonado city limits, is a popular resort in a scenic, peninsular location; to the east, across the bay from Punta del Este is Punta Ballena , a noted whale-watching spot. A visit to the city of Maldonado can be combined with a day trip to Punta del Este from Montevideo, if the traveller is not staying in the immediate area.


How to get there: LaTam flies to Montevideo, Uruguay from North American destinations which include New York and Toronto . Car rental is available at Montevideo Carrasco International airport. Mainly seasonal flights from Buenos Aires also operate to Laguna del Sauce International Airport (which principally serves the Punta del Este area), where car rental is also available. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Maldonado department, Uruguay
Map location of Maldonado department, Uruguay | Source


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