Located in Stunning Turin, Italy
If European history excites you, you’ve come to the right place for Italian museum heaven. While there are plenty of historical sites in other more heavily-trafficked cities like Rome and Florence, Turin sets itself apart in its diversity of museum types and expansive collections (the Egyptian Museum, for example, takes three days to see it all according to the Torinesi).
Unfortunately, these five Italian museums don’t receive the love they deserve! If you’re ever in Turin and would like to visit off-the-radar Italian museums, add these to your list!
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1. Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Palazzo Madama)
While you’re in the city center of Turin visiting the Royal Palace, you might as well swing by neighboring Palazzo Madama palace which hosts the Civic Museum of Ancient Art. If you’re an art or history lover, this is a must-visit place during your trip to Turin.
You’ll quickly notice a difference in feel between the pieces of art held here and many modern art pieces — there seems to be a timeless quality about the historic pieces of art found in this museum with countless precious artifacts.
Beyond painted works collected from the Renaissance to Gothic periods, you’ll also encounter sculptures, ceramics and furniture and cloths that are exquisitely preserved.
Take a step back in time and experience quality, timeless art that’s hard to come by today.
Things to Note
The beautiful oil-based paintings aren’t the only things to see in this Italian museum — be sure to keep your eyes open and look up at the roofs, the corners of each of the 35 rooms and even the exterior architecture.
Monday 10AM–6PM, Tuesday Closed, Wednesday-Sunday 10AM–6PM
Piazza Castello, 10122 Torino TO, Italy
2. Juventus Museum
Who says museums must be all about history and the arts? If you intend on going to a soccer (futbol) game while in Turin, you might as well stop by the Juventus museum located inside Allianz stadium. The museum, “J-Museum”.
This is the newest, most modern museum on this compilation of Torinese museums. In fact, it was only created in 2012.
Because it’s so new and covers a relatively modern sport, soccer, it also uses modern ways of displaying the achievements and history of Juventus through multimedia presentations and unique display cases.
Come find out what all the hype about Juventus is at the J-Museum! Whether you’re a fan of regular football, American football, or both, you’ll want to stop by and indulge in this hidden cultural treasure.
Things to Note
The museum is a bit out of the way, located in the Continassa area in the northeast quarter of Turin. While it may take a while to get there from the center, it’s still reachable by public transport.
Monday 10:30AM–6PM, Tuesday Closed, Wednesday-Friday 10:30AM–6PM, Saturday-Sunday 10:30AM–7:30PM
Via Druento, 153/42, 10151 Torino TO, Italy
3. Museo Pietro Micca
Get underground with the Italian museum of Pietro Micca. In this museum, you’ll be surrounded by a story of survival inspired by none other than Pietro Micca in 1706. It was during this time that the French sieged Turin via the underground tunnels — many French grenadiers would have been able to access the city.
But in an act of self-sacrifice, Pietro Micca lit up the attacking French soldiers. Unfortunately, he died in the process in the tunnels via suffocation from the gasses.
If you’re into old forms of military combat strategies and history, this Italian museum is for you! It’s a unique experience — and a completely different side of Turin you’d never know that lies just below.
Things to Note
The museum is a bit hard to find — and to make matters worse (or rather, more adventurous), many locals don’t even know about it. Get off the metro at Porta Susa and use Google Maps to help you navigate.
Monday Closed, Tuesday-Sunday 10AM–6PM
Via Francesco Giuseppe Guicciardini 7a, Turin, 10121 Italy
4. Armeria Reale
While this technically is part of the Royal Palace of Turin, I figured I’d capitalize on the Armeria Reale, or Royal Armory. Everything about this museum is spectacular — from the elaborate decorative ceilings, to the life-like horses that line the walkways of this museum to the stunning display of armor throughout the decades.
Want to feel like a knight in shining armor? Head to this museum — you’ll see armor of all types that have been immaculately preserved. You’ll explore intricately decorated guns which look more like masterpieces of art rather than weapons plus other weapons like swords, daggers and more.
Experience what life was like a few centuries ago and the artful means of warfare that were employed. When you’re in the city center of Turin, you’ll want to make it a point to visit this museum.
Monday Closed, Tuesday-Sunday 9AM–7PM
Piazzetta Reale, 1, 10122 Torino TO, Italy
5. Museo del Carcere Le Nuove
From 1922 to 1945, at the fall of World War 2 in Turin, thousands of Anti-Fascists were held in this prison. On one sign outside of this museum, it reads: “Their sacrifice will never be forgotten, but the memory of their hard-paid price for liberty endures”.
During their incarceration, prisoners only had a tiny hole, a Boca di Lupo, or “Mouth of a Wolf”, that allowed them to see the sky. Interestingly, inmates were still permitted to attend certain lessons and religious functions.
While there aren’t any paintings to see in this museum, there are plenty of experiences to listen to. Some may even re-shape your understanding of history.
Discover why so many thousands were locked up — this may be the most moving museum on this list.
Via Paolo Borsellino, 3 (Cenisia, Circoscrizione III)
To make your visit to Italy extra-special, you’ve got to visit these little-known and underrated Italian museums in Turin! The five Italian museums mentioned are:
- Civic Museum of Ancient Art
- Juventus Museum
- Museo Pietro Micca
- Armeria Reale
- Museo del Carcere Le Nuove
Looking for more museums in Turin that are a bit more explored? Check out these!