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A Cinematic Legacy

Discover one of Italy’s most unique museums

N is for National Museum of Cinema in our ItalianISSIMO Alphabet.

 

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Visiting museums in Italy is a privilege – a journey through a rich history of architectural ruins, medieval to modern art, incredible marble statues and historical artifacts. Yet you can explore the museums from Italy’s north to south without encountering another quite like this amongst the many Italian treasures on display throughout the country. We’re talking about Torino’s National Museum of Cinema.

Journeying to the coltISSIMO city of Torino will allow you to visit this rare museum. The capitol of Piedmont is renowned not just for its cuisine (like a certain northern nut: La Nocciola) but its architecture as well. Putting aside the contents of the National Museum of Cinema for a moment, its unique location also makes for such a remarkable and wonderful visit.

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The Museum resides inside the Mole Antonelliana tower. In Italian, mole refers to a building of vast scale and the Mole Antonelliania’s name is to honour the architect that created this giant on Torino’s skyline: Alessandro Antonelli. Construction began in 1863 and the historic building is thought to be the tallest museum in the world. More than a century after its completion, a unique feature was added to emphasize this unusual point of a view. Visitors can take a panoramic elevator up the Mole Antonelliana tower, within four walls of transparent glass, to best appreciate the the museum’s unique position and extraordinary sightlines. Ascending 75 meters in 59 seconds, you’ll encounter a panoramic, 360-degree view of Torino. A magical experience that is almost like… being in the movies!

issimo-mole-anotnelliana-national-muesum-of-cinema-torino

The Museum resides inside the Mole Antonelliana tower. In Italian, mole refers to a building of vast scale and the Mole Antonelliania’s name is to honour the architect that created this giant on Torino’s skyline: Alessandro Antonelli. Construction began in 1863 and the historic building is thought to be the tallest museum in the world. More than a century after its completion, a unique feature was added to emphasize this unusual point of a view. Visitors can take a panoramic elevator up the Mole Antonelliana tower, within four walls of transparent glass, to best appreciate the the museum’s unique position and extraordinary sightlines. Ascending 75 meters in 59 seconds, you’ll encounter a panoramic, 360-degree view of Torino. A magical experience that is almost like… being in the movies!

issimo-issimo-mole-anotnelliana-national-muesum-of-cinema-torino-inside
The interior of the National Museum of Cinema in the spire of the tower ‘Mole Anotnelliana’.
issimo-issimo-mole-anotnelliana-national-muesum-of-cinema-torino-inside

Turning to the National Museum of Cinema’s remarkable collection, guests will encounter one of the greatest collections of cinema history in the world. This collection was assembled in large part by the museum’s founder, the pioneering female curator and historian Maria Adriana Polo. Her research of cinema dates back to the late 1930s when the industry itself could still be described as nascent. In 1953 she first translated her body of work into the museum collection we can view today. Though it has grown substantially over the last seventy years!

While there is an obvious emphasis on the history of Italian cinema, the collection features works of importance from all over the world amongst its vast archive. That collection includes more than 500, 000 film posters, a great literary library of criticism and history on the subject, 20, 000 pieces of cinematic machinery, movie memorabilia and countless movie reels. All told, the museum possesses over two million objects devoted to the history of the cinema

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A journey through the museum will share a detailed depiction of all aspects of cinematic history. Organized into collections such as ‘Photo Archives’, ‘Archeology of Cinema’ and ‘Devices’ (which spotlights the technical history of recording films), amongst the treasures you’ll find items as distinct as a screenplay from The Godfather, Federico Fellini’s red hat and scarf as well as his extensive correspondence, and an early version of the film camera: the magic lantern. Exploring the Museum’s film archive will allow visitors to encounter Italian masterpieces and Hollywood classics both as well as many films that have been restored by the National Museum of Cinema themselves. Their area of local specialization includes Torinese silent films and championing Torino’s modern-day film festivals.

Original poster for the 1963 film ‘Ieri, Oggi, Domani’,
part of the vast film poster collection on view in Torino.
issimo-vintage-film-devices-national-museum-of-cinema

Not just for cinephiles, this varied museum offers a rewarding visit to anyone captivated by architecture, a notable female historian, the city of Torino itself and of course anyone interested in seeing some of Marilyn Monroe’s personal effects! We hope you’ll visit this resplendent collection on your next journey to Piedmont.

A journey through the museum will share a detailed depiction of all aspects of cinematic history. Organized into collections such as ‘Photo Archives’, ‘Archeology of Cinema’ and ‘Devices’ (which spotlights the technical history of recording films), amongst the treasures you’ll find items as distinct as a screenplay from The Godfather, Federico Fellini’s red hat and scarf as well as his extensive correspondence, and an early version of the film camera: the magic lantern. Exploring the Museum’s film archive will allow visitors to encounter Italian masterpieces and Hollywood classics both as well as many films that have been restored by the National Museum of Cinema themselves. Their area of local specialization includes Torinese silent films and championing Torino’s modern-day film festivals.

Original poster for the 1963 film ‘Ieri, Oggi, Domani’,
part of the vast film poster collection on view in Torino.
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