Turin is headquarters to Fiat and Alfa Romeo, so it's only fitting that the city is home to the Museum of the Automobile, as well. With one of the largest collections of cars on display in Europe, this museum is a mecca for antique car enthusiasts as well as those interested in prototypes for cars of the future.
The Museum of the Automobile (Museo dell'Automobile) was founded in 1932, making it one of the oldest automobile museums in the world. In 2011, the complex underwent an extensive renovation and reopened with a contemporary new look and engaging curation. Its three floors walk visitors through the automotive history of not just Italy, but the world, with a collection of nearly 200 cars (including some of the first cars made in Italy), as well as racing cars made by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. There are cars from eight different countries on display, plus an extensive library on automotive history.
A stop at the Museum of the Automobile is a must for car buffs, and the museum can be visited during a hop-on-hop-off tour of Turin along with other city sights like Piazza Castello, the Mole Antonelliana, Piazza Carlo Felice, and the Duomo.
Things to Know Before You Go
- In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts a number of temporary exhibitions dedicated to automobiles and automotive history.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- The Museum of the Automobile is especially engaging for kids interested in cars.
- There is a museum shop and café located in the ground-floor atrium.
How to Get There
The Museum of the Automobile is located just south of the center of Turin just along the Po River, and is well-served by a number of city bus lines and the Lingotto metro stop. Turin is a major transport hub in northern Italy, and it’s connected by high-speed rail to other important Italian cities like Milan, Rome, Florence, and Venice.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily except Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings. It’s best to visit on weekdays, when the space is less crowded than it is on weekends.
Turin’s Automotive Past
The sprawling Lingotto building, just around the corner from the Museum of the Automobile, was originally a FIAT automobile factory that opened in the 1920s and was shuttered in 1982. Architect Renzo Piano revamped the complex, and it now contains concert halls, a theater, a convention and shopping center, and a hotel. Visitors can still see the original internal spiral roadway used to move cars through the vertical assembly line and the rooftop test track.