Through the centuries Turin has always been one of the main centers where creative minds, intellectuals and innovators converged to. Maybe because of its clean 18th century architecture and polished elegance, the average Turin resident is generally quite into arts and always on the look for mental stimulation, literally of any kind.
So, it makes sense that Turin hosts many unique museums with incredible large collections you won't find in any other city!
These are the top 5 musuems you can't miss out on your first visit to Turin!
Currently this musuem has the largest ancient Egypt collection in the world. It is so large that some of its artifacts rotate for lack of space! It started as a private collection and over the centuries the Egyptian government sent over some pieces as a sign of acknowledgement for the genuine interest and care of this museum. You'll be at awe even if you are not into art and history by the amazing state of preservation of all the personal items buried with the Pharaoh's architect and his wife. The book of the dead is displayed unrolled and its perfect hieroglyphics look like a comic strip! Finally, the statuary section and the princesses' mummies is what we all keep in our hearts.
As Italian cinema was born in Turin, it just made sense to turn Turin's symbol building into a huge cinema museum from its origin to our days. The museum follows the squared floor plan of the Mole Antonelliana, it starts with the very first historical equipment and the motion picture experiments and it goes through single sections, with different topics where people are shown clips of different famous movies. Everybody loves the toilet section with toilet shaped seats and famous toilet scenes :D
In the center of the main floor there are amazingly comfortable chaises longues where you can relax and watch some clips projected on the building dome! Naturally, your visit doesn't end here as you can ride up to the top of the building to enjoy the wonderful view of the city and its hills. Needless to tell you, the elevator is made of glass and runs through the center of the dome so you can see the inside of the museum from the top!
This is the largest Italian collection of Asian art! It is a very eclectic museum divided into different sections, historical periods and countries, spanning from Iran to Japan and with many temporary exhibits on different topics, including special family days. The ancient Indian bas reliefs, the golden Buddha statues, the Samurai's armors and the many Tibetan mandalas are just some of the many pieces worth a visit. The 18th century palazzo that hosts the museum is very stylish too, not to mention the copy of The great wave off Kanagawa that is often loaned to other museums around Europe!
- Palazzo Madama or the Queen's castle
The building of this museum alone is already quite outstanding as the royal architect died before completing the renovation works back at the beginning of the 18th century. So, you can still see its old medieval castle structure, with the towers that were built back when the ancient Romans stationed here in Turin, as well as the more contemporary façade looking at the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale).
The inside is naturally very royal with movie-like marble stairs, frescoes and richly decorated ceilings. The ground floor has a part covered in glass so you can see the archaeological remains from the excavations - usually photo exhibits are held in this section of the museum, while the top floor has the royal quarters, the Museo d'Arte Antica with its collection of statues, paintings, church ornaments, porcelains and art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Before leaving, you must enjoy the Piazza Castello view from the balcony and a coffee (regular price) in its royal café facing the royal palace!
- Mauto: Museo dell'Automobile
As Turin is the Italian MoTown and FIAT cars are right from here, this interactive automobile museum will make car-lovers, car-designers and people who can't care less: very happy! The car history begins with a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci's car prototype in wood and it goes through the early car models up to the racing Ferraris displayed in separate sections and levels. Fiat 500 and the car design for the house - yes, home objects shaped like cars or cars modified into everyday home objects, have a special section as well as the individual screens where you can enjoy old car commercials, and see how our lives, lifestyles and cars have changed over the years, all over the world.
By subway you can reach Mauto in 10 minutes from the Porta Nuova station and you can actually walk back to the city center just following the river on the running/walking/cycling trail.
Coming to Turin and not seeing these museums is like missing out the local way of thinking, reasoning and living!