Mole Antonelliana

Turin's odd architectural icon and its cinema museum

There's no way to adequately describe the Mole Antonelliana using mere words. Perhaps that's why Italy put it on the back of its 2 eurocent pieces.

This way, Italians can just show it to people without having to try and explain what it looks like: a pile of Neoclassical temples (with Gothic elements) stacked atop on another, topped by a vast, four-sided curving pyramid, then another double-stack of temples from which sprouts a rounded spire reaching to an improbable 550 feet.

The overall effect is, surprisingly, not ugly, though a bit hard to get used to. It even briefly reigned as the tallest building in Europe—it's still the continent's tallest brickwork structure—and was built, of all things, as a synagogue back in the 1860s.

The Cinema Museum

As if all that was weird enough, in 2000 the thing was turned into the National Museum of Cinema (www.museonazionaledelcinema.it), a truly engaging showcase of the history of film around the world and in Italy spread across five levels.

There is a ton of interactive displays on the science, art, and industry of movie-making, a great collection of silver screen artifacts (from original scripts to Lawrence of Arabia's robe to Fellini's scarf and hat), and a phantasmagoria of flickering scenes played out on the walls of the vast, soaring interior as ten movies are screened simultaneously side-by-side (earphones and easy chairs are available).

Ride the glass elevators to a panoramic view

Make sure you climb into one the glass elevators suspended in the middle of the atrium for a vertiginous, Willy Wonka–worthy ride up to the spire's observation deck and a view that, on clear days, reaches as far as France and Switzerland.

Tips & links

Details
ADDRESS

Via Montebello, 20
tel. +39-011 8138-560/561
www.museocinema.it

OPEN

Mon, Wed–Fri, Sun : 9am–8pm
Sat 9am–11pm

ADMISSION

€8.50

TRANSPORT

Bus: ST1; 24, 68v
Hop-on/hop-off: TK

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Details
ADDRESS

Via Montebello, 20
tel. +39-011 8138-560/561
www.museocinema.it

OPEN

Mon, Wed–Fri, Sun : 9am–8pm
Sat 9am–11pm

ADMISSION

€8.50

TRANSPORT

Bus: ST1; 24, 68v
Hop-on/hop-off: TK

TOURS


Useful links
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