Italy is quite dear to my heart, after all it is the "Mecca" for people who love accordions. Why? Because most fine accordions are made between two hill towns in the Marche region of Italy.
In amongst the manufacturers and retail accordion stores winding in and around the streets of Castelfidardo and Loreto hides a wonder, the Museo della Fisarmonica (accordion museum), full of the historical prototypes of the modern day accordion. It is fascinating to observe all the different types of keyboards and shapes that have gone by the wayside in the evolutionary process of free-reed building technology.
The exhibit that ranked #1 with me? A 12 foot tall accordion that actually plays, yes, it works, I was lucky enough to hear it. The reeds are so large inside that they hook up an air hose instead of moving the bellows. Second place? An accordion with a Nativity scene in the bellows. Oh my.