In the city of Piceno there is a large, grey, drab, prefab building containing an amazing secret.
It is the premises of 'The Malacological Museum in Piceno' and houses an important collection of shells and is the largest museum of this kind in the world.
Founded in 1977 by Tiziano and Vincenzi Cossignana it covers an area of just over 3,000 square metres and has more than nine million shells, not all of which are on display at any one time.
It is the centre for malacoligical studies, which is the branch of invertebrade zoology that deals with the study of molluscs. It has classrooms and teaching facilities for up to 80 students, laboratories, multimedia rooms and a specialised library. There is also a conference room with seating for 200 people, a photographic studio and a shop.
It is a fascinating place to visit for both adults and children and makes an informative and interesting trip.
The museum has its own website giving opening times, directions on how to get there and new about any current exhibitions.