Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento
Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento or the museum of the Italian Risorgimento, which is housed in Palazzo Carignano in Turin, the birthplace of the first king of United Italy is the national museum of Italy and consequently enjoys the prime focus among tourists in their tour to Turin. It is the first, the biggest and perhaps the most important museum of Italy with its rich collection of artifacts and dedicated to ‘Risorgimento’ the struggle for Italy’s unification. The history of the later period of history including the period just preceding the Second World War is well documented here. For a student of history, this museum is a treasure trove of research material including the original manuscripts and printed document. So if you are planning a tour to Italy and planning some cool historical detours through an unforgettable Turin holiday, then make a point to visit this important museum of Italy.
The museum was established in 1878 and was originally located in the Mole Antonelliana. It had its first permanent exhibition in 1908 and it was in 1938, the museum was moved to its current site. Previously the building was the seat of House of Savoy, the ruler of Turin before the unification of Italy. The Savoy was much influenced by the French culture and the French influence can be seen all over the city including the museum.
Exhibits of the museum
The rich and varied collection of this national museum befits its reputation as being the biggest and the most important museum of Italy and a tour to Turin or for that matter even a tour to Italy remains incomplete without positive mention of Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento. It includes weapons, flags, uniforms, artworks, manuscripts and printed documents. In 1975 an exhibition is inaugurated highlighting the period of Mussolini, Italian resistance and the inception of Italy as a republic. The central hall of the palace was originally thought to become the Italian parliament but it never happened in practice. A new exhibition was opened in March 18 2011 showcasing history from the late eighteenth century to the beginning of First World War. It has specialized library and documentary archive.
As one wanders past the halls of the museum, one gets the feeling of the Italian history, heritage and culture. The art works of the vibrant renaissance, the weapons of different ages starting from the early medieval period to the ones used in World War tells the tale of the destructive power of man on one hand and his ingenuity on the other. Most importantly the history of Risorgimento, the history of the struggle for Italy’s unification, with King Vittorio Emanuele II as the figurehead is well documented here. So if you are fascinated about the heritage and culture of a country, if you are inspired by the history of the political struggle of a race who wanted to be unified as a nation and get rid of the yoke of coercion and corruption, you should keep this museum as a ‘must see’ during your holiday to Turin.
Important things to know
There are excellent bus services in Turin. The bus no 13,15,18,55, 61 and 72 will take you to the museum. Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento remains open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 7 pm. An entrance fee is charged .The children are allowed at a discounted rate.
Best time to Visit
August is officially the month of Italian summer and the greatest rush of visitors are observed during this month. At that time you may need to stand in a long queue for hours to get admission. So if you want to visit the place and revel in its glory in peace and quiet, then you should visit in the month of April-May. The weather remains fine and the crowd is comparatively less heavy.