The National Museum of Risorgimento in Turin, as well as the first Italian Parliament, is the most important one concerning this historical period in Italy.
Inside, in fact, there is the biggest collection of the period of Risorgimento and the Italian Unification.
It was founded in 1878 and it was officially recognized only in 1901 via the Royal Decree. Nowadays, the exhibition is host in the so called noble floor of Palazzo Carignano, in the heart of Turin, precisely between Piaza Carignano and Piazza Carlo Alberto.
Findings belonging to the period between 1706 to 1946, year in which the Italian Republic was born, can be found. You can also find things belonging to Risorgimento.
National Museum of Italian Risorgimento: the history
The National Museum of Italian Risorgimento is among the oldest and most important museums dedicated to this period: it was founded in 1878 in Turin.
The Museum was funded in order to honor the death of the first King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, and for this reason it was also called Ricordo Nazionale di Vittorio Emanuele II. In the following decades, it was first moved to the Museo Civico in 1899, then in Mole Antonelliana in 1908.
Anyway, in 1930, the exhibition was moved again in Palazzo del Giornale, and in 1938, back again in Palazzo Carignano, a baroque building designed by the architect Guarino Guarini. The building, in fact, was from 1848 to 1860 the headquarter of the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Sardinia, and from 1861 to 1865 the headquarter of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy.
The Chamber was first located in a temporary position, as the building was being expanded. ANyway, once the works were done, the Capital had already been moved to Florence, so the room was not used anymore.
Inside the Museum, in fact, you can visit both the Chambers, which still present their original conditions. In those rooms, the most famous political figures used to work, such as Gioberti, Garibaldi, D'Azeglio, Balbo and Cavour, whose chairs are still decorated with the flag.
After WWII, in 1948, the exhibition was expanded in order to celebrate 100 years of the First War of Indipendence. The same happened in 1961, in honor of a century of the Italian Unification.
After the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, the museum was closed in order to renew and expand some rooms, and it was opened again in 2011, on the occasion of 150 years since the Unification of Italy.
The collections and the permanent exhibition
Walking among the rooms of the museum, you will be able to admire different kinds of heirlooms, such as documents, printed pages, weapons, uniforms and more. The path is organized in a way so that everyone can follow the steps that led to the Unification of Italy.
Furthermore, there are some passagess that have been added, which refer to other European countries who unified in the same years, following the same steps of Italy.
The focus on Piedmont
The path starts with three rooms dedicated to the history of Italy from 1878 to 1961, focusing on Piedmont, more specifically on Turin, from 1898 to 1911. Furthermore, the room dedicated to the fascist period has an important value, as it tells the story between 1935 and 1938.
In the room dedicated to the history of Turin politics, the herilooms and the artworks have been enriched with a projection of the Unification seen by Turin.
The faithful reproduction of prints, pictures and documents of some works of the period (1814-1861) introduces the history, in order to allow a better understanding of what's inside the museum.
The fourth and the following rooms, until the 26th, represent the heart of the Museum of Risorgimento. The historical path starts from the Napoleon Era (1796-1815) and the French revolution (1789).
The Unification of Italy
There is a big area dedicated to the riots against the Absolute regimes between 1800 and 1821, the revolutions of 1848 and the Independence Wars until 1866. . You will be able to look closer at the Expedition of the Thousands in 1860, until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The room number 24 preserves the historical heirlooms of another important national event: the capture of Rome in 1870.
In the room number 25, the last of this historical path, there is a faithful reconstruction of the office where Cavour worked. The rooms number 26, 27, 28 were set up on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Kingdom of Italy, paying particular attention to the politics, the culture and the battles for workers' rights.
In those 3 sections, the exhibition has been organized so that visitors can understand better which was the point of view of the people during that period.
You will reach the part dedicated to 1900, in the room number 29, until WWI, paying particular atention to the process that brought to the annexation of Trentino, Alto Adige and Venezia-Giulia.
The exhibition ends in the room that were set up for the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy. On the walls you can admire the paintings inspired by the main events of that time.
On the fourth floor, finally, you can consult the numerous volumes of the library (circa 167.750), including magazines, prints, documents, photos and more.
The itineraries for the visitors
According to the age of the visitors and the time they can spend in the museum, they can choos among 3 diferent itineraries:
- Short itinerary: 45 minutes long. The visit will be focused on 90 objects that are in the 30 rooms of the museum;
- Base itinerary: 90 minutes long. The visit will be focused on 210 objects in the 30 rooms of the museum;
- Detailed itinerary: 120 minutes. The visit will be focused on 288 objects in the 30 rooms of the museum.