The soaring square dome and spire of the Mole Antonelliana is Turin’s most recognizable landmark and home to the National Cinema Museum, where the vast collection of silver-screen memorabilia draws film buffs from around the world. Take the glass elevator to the top of the dome for sweeping views across the city.
The National Cinema Museum was founded in 1953 with a private collection of film memorabilia; in 2000, the expanded collection was moved to the Mole Antonelliana tower and is one of the most important cinematic museums in the world. Pieces in the museum's collection include Darth Vader's mask from The Empire Strikes Back, the alien costume from Aliens, and a mask from Fellini's Satyricon. There are also vintage movie posters, film screening rooms, and props from movie sets. The museum's library includes more than 12,000 movie reels, 300,000 film posters, 80,000 pictures, and 26,000 books.
A stop at the National Cinema Museum is a must for fans of movie history; it’s one of the museums included in the Turin Sightseeing Pass: Torino and Piemonte Card. In addition to touring the museum collection, visitors can take the panoramic elevator up through the center of the dome to the observation platform above for an unbeatable view of Turin.
Things to Know Before You Go
- In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts a number of annual festivals, including the prestigious Torino Film Festival.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchair users via a dedicated entrance with an intercom.
- A museum shop located on the ground floor sells books and other items related to cinematic history.
How to Get There
The Mole Antonelliana is located in the center of Turin, and is well-served by a number of city bus and tram lines. Turin is one of the most important cities in northern Italy, and connected by direct high-speed train to other major Italian cities like Milan, Rome, Florence, and Venice.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily except Tuesdays. Lines can be long on the weekend—the panoramic elevator is a real draw—so plan your visit for a weekday, or first thing in the morning on weekends.
The Mole Antonelliana Towering over Turin
When construction began in 1863, the imposing Mole Antonelliana was meant to be a synagogue. By the time it was finished in 1889, however, it had been purchased by the city of Turin as a monument dedicated on the unification of Italy. Designed by the architect Alessandro Antonelli, the building is the most famous monument in Turin, and the view from the “tempietto” platform at the top of its square dome is among the city’s main tourist attractions.