Mole Antonelliana, Turin

Here is my Travelogue on visit to Turin in Italy. Turin or Torino as the Italians would call is the old capital of Italy. As it was the capital city before, there are a lot of Palaces and Gallery to walk around. It’s located in the Piedmont region in the northwest part of Italy, at the foot hills of Alps Mountain. As the name goes Piedmont means “Foot of the mountain”. Italy is a country of Romance. The word Romance means “Roman style”. I found the people of Turin to be very kind. The best part I liked is everybody would greet me with a “Ciao” (hi), “Buongiorno” (good morning) or “Buona sera” (good evening) and I greet them back with my big smile and wishes. Every minute there felt so positive and I felt at home.

Here is my visit to the National Cinema museum (Museo Nazionale del Cinema) in Turin.  The Museum is located inside “Mole Antonelliana”. It is the tallest tower in Turin and located at the center of the city. The museum is the tallest museum in the world! The Mole Antonelliana was built as prayer hall, but now it hosts the Cinema museum. We can get Arial view of Torino from the top of Mole Antonelliana which has a Lift operating at the center of the tower. The ticket for the Cinema Museum and visit to the top of tower costs 15 Euros.

Mole Antonelliana

It was a November evening and drizzling every now and then. I checked for the image of Mole Antonelliana and located it in the Map of Torino in my mobile. I had to walk from the train station Porta Nuova to Mole Antonelliana. I had secured my Passport, few Euros and a mobile phone in my pocket. It looked simple in the map, take Right and then take Left after 5 streets. I saw a skating area on the way. It had benches to sit and very spacious.  I already walked a Kilometre. Had some resting time observing the kids playing there. I planned to walk through Via S. Massimo but took the lane before Via Accademia Albertina. Now I had to check the map again in mobile for direction. I saw the Piazza Carlo Emanuel II statue on the way. To my eyes everything looked magnanimous.  I am happy I took this street to reach the museum.

From a little distance I could see the tall tower, Mole Antonelliana. I got really excited. But funnily as I reached the tower I couldn’t make out the entrance. I was going round and round with my head high watching the tall tower. Another reason is there were poster of the TFF (Turin Film Festival) written in Italian everywhere. That confused me where was the actual entrance to the museum. The TFF is celebrated in the November of every year in the Cinema museum and is world famous film festival. The people speak Italian, so I used English very less. I would look at the passers-by give a smile, look eye to eye and say “Mole Antonelliana” and they would show me direction with hands. I would tell them “Grazie” (means thanks) pronounced as “Graht-see-eh” and walk further. As is said, language is just a medium of communication. If you know to communicate, you don’t need language.

Finally I found the foot of the tower. There was a long queue to buy tickets. As the Lift has limited capacity the visitors are allowed in batches. I reached there by 4.45 PM. I was waiting for an hour in the open air with an umbrella in the queue. Only soothing pass time in the queue was the romance in the air. There were so many beautiful couples standing before me enjoying the evening drizzles. My waiting time passed pretty cool. I wanted to view the city of Turin from the top of Mole Antonelliana in sunlight. But it was already sunset by the time I reached the Lift as I got entry only at 5.45 PM. Sun sets early in November. To my surprise the night view with all the glowing city lights was even more eye catching. I could capture only 5 percent of the beauty in my camera.

The Mole Antonelliana dome looks very beautiful from inside. After reaching the top it was glittering city view. I could see the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Palazzo Carignano and Church of Santa Maria al Monte Dei Cappuccini. The river “PO” runs through the Turin city. The Via PO, the street that leads to PO River is very next to Mole Antonelliana. Piazza Vittorio Veneto is a city Square in Turin. It’s an open space where people gather for meetings. It has shops around. Church of Santa Maria al Monte Dei Cappuccini is located in the other bank of River PO. Palazzo Carignano is a very beautiful palace.

I got a friend there who was a student at the University of Milan. She was also a visitor to the place like me. As we got down from the Lift, we visited the cinema museum together. For enjoying the Cinema museum you surely need one more person with you. There are a lot of experiments, visual setups. You can try your hands on and understand how the world of cinema evolved, how our eyes perceive the 2D images and how the first motion picture came into existence. Even kids can enjoy the place. There is nobody to guide, the place is self-explanatory.  We can explore exhibits in all the five floors as we like. The lighting is very low inside as it’s required for a Movie effect. My mobile camera could hardly capture anything inside.

There are so many movie screening around in each floor. You can watch any movie you like. There is a push back chair setting at the ground floor. The music played there sooths the ambience. There is a scary monster sitting there and watching you with hands tied, The Moloch which is a character in the Italian epic film “Cabiria”.

The museum houses all sections of Cinema, from Costume, Casting, Camera, Scripting, Editing, Direction and Film production. The walls have camera parameter and calculation in olden days. The aperture measurements, width and height. They have a Merlin Monroe section. I liked the clock there with a man walking which is unique in the museum. This museum is hard work of Maria Adriana Prolo who has carved the museum with all aspects of Cinema. Her poster is at the entrance of the Museum as a tribute. Half-heartedly I left the place at 7 pm and rushed back to the railway station. The Museum closes at 8 pm on Sunday.

Maria Adriana Prolo

4 thoughts on “Mole Antonelliana, Turin

    1. Thanks for reading. Turin is easy to walk around and cover lot of places without need for transport. Hope you will enjoy the place. I will be writing about some more locations in Turin soon.


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