The two-floored building where the exhibition is arranged is distinguished by the inscription "Centro Raccolta Profughi" - realized in 2004 when the exhibition was opened- and by some big portraits of people hosted in some Emergency Centers all around Italy, Padriciano included.
The old chapel rises not so far, nowadays a garage of the Civil Defence, but visitors are advised against this trail, due to dangerous debris and uneven terrain.
The exhibition was realized by the Unione degli Istriani after an articulated research both in archives and between witnesses, in the occasion of the 50th anniversary of foundation of the Unione degli Istriani-Libera Provincia dell'Istria in Esilio (November 1954 - November 2004).
Some images of the permanent exhibition can be seen visiting the photographic section The exhibition.
In the exhibition there is a display that foreshadows the structure of the exhibition and its educational activity: it is balanced between the panels, which include the information derived from the analysis of documents and archival papers, and scenery arrangements, all realized using reproductions of old photographs and strictly original goods taken from the warehouses of the Old Harbor of Trieste.
The exhibition opens with a front wall covered with faces and names meaning the depersonalization of the Julian Dalmatian refugees in the Odyssey of the emergency centers, caused by the uprooting from their homeland and their life - custom, traditions, rhythms, local languages ... - and even the shattering and scattering of a society and its culture in space and time. All the faces, as the external portraits, are extrapolated from old photos of guests of the emergency centers around Italy; few of their names are known, of the great part any reference or memory is lost.
Besides the photos are placed the cards, which are reproductions from archival collection of the C.L.N. of Istria, in which the particulars the refugees and their families were recorded in order to assist them, after verifying the lack of cooperation with the fascist politics in the period 1943 - 1945 and '45 and the Tito's Communism after 1945.
The itinerary, following the numbered panels, offers a general historical framework that allows, thanks to the help of many geographic and thematic maps, to have the least historical and geographical background to understand the phenomenon in its complexity.
Are then exposed in example some documents related to the exodus from the city of Pola, including the exhibition of unpublished documents from the archive of the Italian
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, held at the Central State Archives in Rome.
The great hall, that in the last phase of camp life served as school's gym, in the early years was adapted as a shelter for refugees by dividers made from blankets spread on steel cables. Similar arrangement was also staged in the cinema: in the former were placed women and children, in the latter men and boys, with a clear division of families housed there.
At the center of the hall lies a scenery setting that reproduce in miniature the emotional impact that would cause the sight of 2000 cubic meters of household goods stored in
warehouses of the harbor of Trieste and managed by IRCI. The furniture is presented to the visitors in order to emphasize the original chalk written or painted remarks to indicate the owner
of the single item, a reference number and origin. Often can be seen the paper labels affixed to packages from the companies that won the contract for the management and handling of
household deposits from the docks to the warehouses of the harbors around Italy, and later from here to the warehouses of the harbor of Trieste, where all household goods not yet withdrawn
were finally collected.
In the exhibition you can visit the reconstruction of a living module - or box - made with original materials inspired by pictures taken in C.R.P. of Brescia in 1949, exposed on the walls.
Are then exposed plans and maps from the State Archives of Trieste. They are interesting documents among which can be found wooden barracks plans with lots of specific about the asbestos shingles used, the "hive" scheme 'beehive' of shelters at Silos building and the plans of shelters for the refugees in the buildings of the Rice Mill of San Sabba.
In the hall that was used as chapel, than as theater and finally as cinema , the visitors can watch a movie lasting 12 minutes which offers a full episode of the "Settimana Incom" of 1947, a reportage dedicated to the exodus from the city of Pola, therefore entitled "Pola Goodbye". Sound and footage are original and movies were shot on the place by an italian camera crew before Italian city's abandonment by the British and U.S. troops and almost all of its population. Proposals are scenes of the arrival and disembarkation of refugees from Pola to Venice.