In this page you find all the informations about the main Italian military museums and their seats and opening times to visitors.

Air Force Historical Museum

The Museum is located in Vigna di Valle, on Bracciano lake, where it was inaugurated in 1977.

In mid Nineties it has been closed several time for enlargement and restoring works. It has been opened again on 5 August 1999 in the presence of Pil.Col.M.Scarlatti, present commander of Vigna di Valle Base (by the way, also the undersigned was guest of the base in 1983 for the alighting on water course on AB.47G helicopter with floats).
At the moment 3 of the 4 large hangars of the museum are open to the public, while the end of the works is expected in 2002.
The airplanes displayed cover the story of Italian air force: among the most known the WW1 Caproni Ca.3, HD.1. Spad VII, SVA.5, Lohner L; the Schneider Trophy Fiat C29, Macchi M39, Macchi M72; the WW2 Macchi 200, 202 and 205, SM79, SM82, Cant Z 506, Caproni Campini, Ca100, CR32, Fi156; the postwar G59, P-47, P-51, Albatross, Tracker, F-86, T-33, G91, F-104; besides CR42, G55 and Harpoon are under restoring. In addition to the aircraft the museum displays a remarkable collection of models, engines and weapons like the Breda M2 turret of Fiat CR25. Also there are restaurant, bookshop and parking.

Air Museum G. Caproni

Founded in 1992 near the Trento airport, it exhibits a very interesting collection of aircraft and historical relics gathered by the family of Gianni Caproni and sent to the self-governing Province of Trento. In the museum there are twenty historical airplanes like SM79, Caproni Ca.6 and Ca.9 of the year 1911, Ca.100 seaplane, Sva 5, Macchi 308 and the sole fuselage in the world of the Fokker D.VIII. A 3rd Stormo's F-104 gate guardian is on the outside. Periodically the museum organizes cultural and popular displays: in spring 2000 was the exhibition Aquile Rinate (reborn eagles), a photographic collection of vintage warbirds restored and returned to fly; also it organizes guided visits and historical-aeronautical teaching laboratories. Besides on the airport there are exhibitions of flying airmodels.

Alpini Historical National Museum

Museum - The Alpini museum is located in Trento, on the Doss hill, near the Cesare Battisti monument. At the entrance there are two guns: the famous and glorious mountain 65/17 which supported the actions of Alpini in the

1915-18 war, and the 75/13 which equipped the mountain artillery after 1st world war. In the inside large showroom, in 8 perimetrical niches, the museum takes in the historical documents of the Alpini's Corp, from his foundation to the present days; while relics, publications and other additional materials are displayed in the show-cases of the centre, thanks to the patient work of the Gen. Adami, formerly commander of the 5th Regiment in the Campaign of Russia who fought valorously in the battle of Nikolajewka, and thanks to the Earl P. Caccia Dominioni, who fought at El Alamein and, after the war, built the Q.33 sacrarium.
Gastronomic Route - Who come in Trentino cannot go away before to taste the typical dishes of the Tridentine cooking.

Where to go? we have tried and appreciated the Ristorante Birreria Forst, in historic centre of Trento near the Dome. A menu costs about L.35000 and offers by choice all the typical dishes of Trentino: strangolapreti (flour of potato dumplings) with melted butter, canederli (flour of bread dumplings) with tomato sauce, risotto al teroldego (rice with teroldego wine) and soup of barley as first dishes; roe and maize porridge, carne salada e fasoi (salad meet with beans), shin of pork and mushrooms finferli as seconds and then the red wines marzemino and teroldego and the beer radler with lemon and at last the apple strudel and grappa at will (best the pear and muscat grappa). And, if you like pizza, do not miss the Tridentine pizza with the lucanica (a pork sausage).
The restaurant is opened from Tuesday to Sunday and is in via Oss Mazzurana 38, Trento - tel: 0461 235590.
Would you believe that near Trento there is a place where you taste a really original pizza?

Go to S.Cristoforo, a village near Caldonazzo lake, to the Pizzeria Il Giropizza. Here you meet Maurizio, an artist of the pizza offering 12 different kinds of it; order the 'giropizza' and you may taste the velvety pizza with artichokes, with pumpkin, with pore mushrooms, with asparagus or the pizza popi winner of Pizza Mundial 2000, or the pizza with chocolate as dessert. Of course you find the classic pizza margherita or capricciosa also.
Giropizza is reachable travelling for 10 kms the Valsugana main road from Trento to Caldonazzo lake. It is at S.Cristoforo al Lago in viale Europa 107 - tel: 0461 512282 - site: - Tuesday closed.

Artillery National Museum

The Artillery Museum was born in Torino on 18th april 1731 due to the interest of King of Sardegna Carlo Emanuele III, who ordered to marquis Foschieri transforming some halls of Royal Arsenal, today Enforcement School. In 1893 the Torino Town gave the free loan of military citadel fortified Tower(Mastio), the lone surviving building of the fortification built in 1564 by Emanuele Filiberto, to the Army Administration as site of the artillery museum. Here always in 1893 it was opened.
The museum preserves about eleven thousand exhibits from prehistory to modern time. they are subdivided in different categories: artilleries and their accessories, models, ammunitions, long and short small-arms, wheeled and flint plates, primers and accessories for ancient weapons, white arms, flags, trophies, awards and paintings.
The most important exhibits are: a double edged axe from 3000 b.C., a XV century "small artillery piece with a zoomorphist reinforced mouth", a XVII cen. "hand organ with 13 barrels", a "short gun assembed as a stiletto", a XIV cen. wrought iron small mortar from the Morro castle, the oldest artillery of the museum. During the years the museum received new pieces, enough to make it necessary the extension of the display area; then the XVI/XVII cen. artilleries are in the Mastio, while the XIX/XX cen. ones and other relics are in a stationed infrastructure, formerly Artillery and Chemical Defence Depot, in via Bologna nr.190.

Bersaglieri Historical Museum

The Bersaglieri's Corp was officially born on 18th June 1836 due to a royal decree and had his baptism of fire on the day 8th April 1848 in the battle of Goito during the 1st Indipendence War.
Other battles will follow: the Cernaia and the important Breccia (break) of Porta Pia on 20th sept.1870, when the attack troops of Regio Esercito led by Bersaglieri burst into the breccia and overwhelmed the Papal Zouaves.
The museum was opened by King Vittorio Emanuele III on 18th June 1904 in the La Marmora barracks in the Trastevere quarter of Rome. In 1931 it moved on the Porta Pia premises and here was opened again on 18th sept.1932 in coincidence with the Bersaglieri monument on the facing square. On north side downstairs there are: the showroom La Marmora, the Honour Hall and the Memorial. On south side downstairs there are the showrooms dedicated to the two world wars. On north side upstairs there are the showrooms displaying the relics, documents and memories of the Risorgimento campaigns, from 1848 to 1866, some of them of great historical and documentary interest, like uniforms, fire arms and white arms, and of the campaigns against the brigandage in south Italy after 1860. On south side upstairs three large showrooms are dedicated to the colonial campaigns, from the first landing of the Bersaglieri in Massaua on 5th Feb.1885, to the fightings of Agordat (1890 and 1893) and Cassala (1894), to the battle of Adua (1896), the expedition in China (1900), the conquest operations of Libya and Dodecanneso (1911-13) and of East Africa (1935-36). Further a library and an historical archive.

Cavalry Historical Museum

The historical museum of Cavalry Arm is located in the ancient barracks "Principe Amedeo", now "Generale Fenulli", built in 1845 at the expense of Pinerolo Town. It was opened on October 1968. Today the museum is managed by the Cavalry School.

Downstairs there are the Memorial, where are preserved the pictures of the officers gold awarded, and a display of carts, wagons, carriages, saddles and horse-clothes.
Upstairs there are standards, flags, bronzes, silvers, paintings, publications, photographs, awards and a rich collection of uniforms from the Risorgimento period to the present days.
The second floor is dedicated to the colonial campaigns and two world wars. In one of its galleries a collection of Italian and European white arms and fire arms are preserved.
You can gain access to the floors trough the Honour Staircase, where a series of foulards realized by the Officers Clubs of the regiments and a collection of pictures about the life of the school are exhibited.

Engineers Corp Historical and Cultural Institute

When in 1870 Rome became the capital of Italy, the Mole Adriana or Sant'Angelo Castle, built in II century a.D., was reduced as a poor barracks and prison. 30 years after, gen. Luigi Durand won the dispute meant to give back the old magnificence to the important monument to found the Arms Museum with the help of Department for Education. The works started in 1901 but, because the Arms Museum was alrady founded in Torino with the Artillery Museum, the Engineers Museum was thereby founded, site well appropriate to great monument where, during the centuries, valiant military engineers like Nicolò di Pietro Lamberti di Arezzo, Antonio da Todi, il Rossellino, Baccio Pontelli, Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti and other illustrious masters had worked. On 13rd Feb.1906 the museum was opened by the king with a solemn ceremony, and its success was great and immediate; the public entered numerous and the Engineers Corp had great prestige.

In 1911, for the fiftieth anniversary of Rome capital, was decided to move the museum in the "Urbano VIII small barracks", located into the pentagonal bailey. So it had the new name Military Engineers Historical Museum. In 1933, an important year for story of the museum, the authorities decided to devote the area around the S.Angelo castle to park and therefore they ordered to demolish the Urbano VIII barracks and to move the museum and institute in other site. A decree of 1934 founded the Engineers Corp Historical and Cultural Institute and a new seat was built in Lungotevere della Vittoria, where it is now.
Today the institute is managed by Defence Department and Engineers School.
It takes up the downstairs of the building on an area of 4400 mq.; preceded by two Honour Halls, in which are displayed the relics of ten. Camillo Benso count of Cavour and of gen. Federico Menabrea, scientist and first minister.

The museum is divided in two large sections: first one preserves all the engineers fields; second one preserves the engineers corp through the different wars from the kingdom of Sardegna to the Italian State and to the II world war. Road and floating bridges are displayed, among which the famous 160/14 employed to cross the Piave river and the Dnepr in Russia. Besides we must mention the airship and balloon crews foreboding the aviation era with their frail machines.
On first floor there are the Historical Museum of Military Architecture and the hall Giulio Cesare.

Grenadiers Historical Museum

The museum was opened in Rome on 3rd june 1924, in the 265° anniversary of the Corp.
Survived in july 1943 the bombing raid of the close San Lorenzo railway station it was a branch of Rome Town until to 1986, year in which it was assigned to the Defence Ministry and became Unit of Motorized Brigade "Granatieri di Sardegna".
Richest of historical relics of every epoch and origin, the materials are displayed in fifteen rooms showing Italian and foreign weapons, pictures of the Big War, the reasons of gold medals awarded to grenadiers, plans of the major theatres where the units fought, flags and personal effects given from the troops and their families. Besides into a room the grenadiers memorial has been realized, on the walls of which the names of over 8500 fallen of all the wars are engraved by golden scripts.

Infantry Historical Museum

In 1948 the Army General Staff instructed Gen. Edoardo Scala to raise the pieces and relics still available after the wartime devastation to establish the Italian infantry museum they had longed for. On 11st Nov. 1959 the museum was opened by the President G.Gronchi at the presence of the infantry regiments flags. On 28th June 1986 the museum became Unit of Armed Force as branch of Cesano's Infantry School, near Rome.
Renovated in 1990 it is divided in three basic sectors - Arms, Flags and Uniforms - and it is organized by an Office, the Library with historical archive, the Memorial, 35 showrooms illustrating: the historical development of the infantry, the Italian Risorgimento, the Arm fields, the colonial fields, 1st and 2nd world wars, the war of Liberation, the african wars, the expeditionary forces, the Armoury, Banderoles and heraldic emblems of infantry units, Flags of war and Awards.

Military Road Transport Museum of Cecchignola

The museum was born in 1955 due to the Chief of Road Transport and is the lone exhibition in Italy of the vehicles which have characterized a century of Military Road Transport. In 1991 it was transferred in the actual site of Cecchignola military citadel, an area of 50000 mq with large avenues and green zones.

In the museum are displayed more then 300 cars and trucks, 60 AFVs and tanks, 60 motorcycles, an archive- library with data and technical files from the origins to the present days, and also photos and documents. Besides some carriages of 1914-16 there are pieces of great historical value like the WW1 trucks Fiat BL 18, Fiat 15 ter and SPA 38, ando also two Army light airplanes Piper L-18 and 21, a car Fiat 501 Torpedo, a light tank L3, a medium tank M15/42 and a P40, a rare armored car Lancia Astura Lince of 1942, a truck SPA Dovunque 35, a car Fiat 513 mod.4 of 1910, used by Vittorio Emanuele III to inspect the fronts of WW1, and the most famous ambulance of the movie Addio alle Armi, a Fiat type 2 of 1910.

Partisan Resistance Museum

Museum - The Resistance museum is opened from 1979 in the rooms of the Rocca of Montefiorino and it was restored in 1994 and had a new opening ceremony in 1994 on the occasion of 50th anniversary of liberation war at the presence of President of Republic. Dedicated to Partisan Republic of Montefiorino, opposing from

1944 to Germans and RSI, the museum has 3 rooms: in the first you may go back over the military organization of the resistance in Modena and Reggio Emilia Apennines, the constitution of the Mid Emilia Army Corp, the effects of the German roundup in August 1944 and the reorganization of partisan forces until to the liberation in April 1945; the second room shows the events of Modena-Armando division, which was recognized by Allied and fought with 5th U.S.Army corp; the third contains a great diorama of the partisan republic territory. In the showcases documents, uniforms and weapons are preserved with also small dioramas reproducing in 1/35th scale combats of partisan vs Germans. Besides in a room you may watch a documentary on the events of those years.
Gastronomic Route - We suggest you in the area theAgriturismo Beneverchio. At about 20 kms from Montefiorino and Modena,

it is reachable by SS12 Abetone main road until to Pavullo (where you may visit the Montecuccolo castle in which the captain Raimondo Montecuccoli was born); here, turning into via XXII Aprile, after 2 kms you find, in via Niviano 31, the agritourist farm Beneverchio, located at 800 mts on sea level in an old lodge of XV century restored by the owners Claudia and Ornello.
Here you may taste a set menu of appetizers, 3 first courses, seconds and side dishes cooked according to recipes of XVII/XIX centuries, changing every week. The all accompanied by poppy-seed bread, white and red wines and at last a taste of different grappa. Let you taste.
Opened in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday and all the day on Sunday. The cost is L.35000.
For info call the nr 0536 325290; site:

Railway National Museum of Pietrarsa

The museum is in Pietrarsa, facing the sea of Napoli gulf, into the buildings of ex Royal Mechanical Factories whose construction was ordered by Ferdinando II of Borbone. Here the history of Italian railways was born. On 3rd October 1839 in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies was in fact opened the first Italian railway line, the Napoli-Portici, 7411 mts long, covered in eleven minutes by a train drawn by a Bayard locomotive.

Today this line is on the Napoli-Salerno railroad running along the museum area.
In 1845 first steam locomotive was built in the factories, named Pietrarsa, delivered to the Royal Railroads (Regie Strade Ferrate). The Factories structure was completed in 1853, first industrial estate in Italy. The second one, the Breda, was completed in 1897, 44 years after.
After the Italian Unity, Pietrarsa was assigned to Italian government to build rails, locos, steam machines and weapons. In 1885 it was assigned to Rete Mediterranea, while in 1905 the railways were unified and assigned to the State. After 2nd world war the decline of steam signalled the end of the factories and in 1975 they were closed. In 1977 the Railways decided to set aside the factories for railway museum and the restoring works started. The museum was opened on 7th october 1989, on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Napoli-Portici line.
The museum has three large exhibition lodges, a conference hall, a cafè and two large forecourts from which the panorama of Napoli gulf may be admired. The Ferdinando II pig-iron monument is located on the second forecourt, realized in 1852 by the sculptor Pasquale Ricca just in the Pietrarsa factories. Next lodge, located on the left of hte entrance, displayes the steam and three-fase locomotives and the train of Napoli-Portici railway. The second lodge displayes the littorine, diesel and electric locomotives, automotives and a few wagons among which the royal train's wagon built by Fiat in 1928. The third lodge contains switch-engines such as the famous Sogliola (sole) and a showroom with scale models of trains and ferry-boats.

Regia Aeronautica Historical Museum

It is a real surprise to find near Bergamo a small museum dedicated to the story of Regia Aeronautica.

It is totally maintained by Lt Alessandro Vignes, an A.N.R. fighter pilot after 1943. Most finds and images showed are from himself or friends and wartime pilots. The museum is accomodated in a showroom of cascina La Nuova and is named after the gold medal magg. A. Larsimont Pergameni di Almè, commander pilot of 97a Sqd

on Macchi 202 and fighter ace of Regia Aeronautica with 5 airplanes shot down.
On the walls a series of about 150 pictures and crests explain the story of Regia Aeronautica throu images of posters, aircraft and pilots. Flying helmets and glasses, books, rules, instruments, radios, medals and aircraft models are displayed inside six showcases. Besides there are aircraft parts, uniforms and flying suits. A rarest piece is a warming jacket weared during the battle of Britain by BR20 pilots.

Regiment Young Fascists Museum "Piccola Caprera"

The museum Piccola Caprera was established in 1960 into the home of Magg. Fulvio Balisti, who was the commander of the regiment GG.FF. in North Africa, where he had the left leg critically injuried in the battle of Bir el Gobi on 3rd Dec.1941. Rather than receiving medication he ordered to be carried by a stretcher on the front positions to urge his soldiers and, when he was finally admitted in the field hospital of division Ariete he has his leg amputated and was captured from English troops. In 1943, after a prisoner swap, he returned in Italy. Here, after the armistice, he joined the RSI and, at the end of the war, he returned to his home in Ponti sul Mincio, near Mantova. After his death,in 1959, the veterans of the regiment decided to built the museum.
It displayes the relics of the regiment GG.FF. and of the North Africa campaign in 1940-43. There are three showrooms: first room is dedicated to the volunteers casualties and com. Balisti, second room to the North Africa campaign, third room to Afrika Korps and the enemies of that front. Uniforms and weapons employed in Africa are showed, among which the a/t gun 47/32 and the Breda 20mm mod.1935 machine gun. At the entrance there are the Monument to the colonial troops and the Stone to RSI. The museum organizes ceremonies and veterans' rallies and in each first Sunday of the month (except Jan. and Aug.) a Mass is celebrated in honour of the Fallen.
        Colonial Troops Monument

Rimini's Aviation Park

The Rimini's Aviation Park(Parco Tematico dell'Aviazione di Rimini), opened on 2nd april 1995, occupies an 80000 mq area of green, terraced hills, where more then 30 aircraft are displayed on grassy spaces linked by about 2 kms of footpaths. Many airplanes are russian: Antonov 2, Mig 15,17,19,21 e 23, Mil 2, Sukhoi 17,

Il-28. There are famous planes like Clark Gable's DC.3; american F-4 Phantom and A-7E Corsair II; Lockheed F-104, reaching over Mach 2 speed and still used in Italy’s defence strategy; Fiat G91 of Frecce Tricolori; vintage aircraft like Saiman 202, Fiat G46 and a Red Baron's Fokker Dr.1 replica. Then the remains of the three MB.339 P.A.N. destroyed in the tragic accident at Ramstein in 1988 are gravely exhibited in the museum. A monument in memory of the victims is located near that stand.
In addition to the aircraft many weapons are showed: a russian Sam2 rocket launcher system; a/a weapons and a Scud rocket recently acquired. After the outdoor exhibits have been admired a visit can also be made to the indoor two levels exhibition hall that displays a variety of items of great interest: uniforms and flying suits used by Italian pilots and mechanics; hundred of photographs, many unpublished; medals, decorations and scale models. In a projection room you can see old films about the story of Aeronautica Militare.
A refreshments area in woodland and a large green space, a helicopter landing pad and a partly asphalted car park complete the services available.

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Toy Soldiers National Museum "Mario Massaccesi"

In Bologna a group of collector created the museum of the toy soldiers, named after first president of the society managing it, Mario Massaccesi, eminent student of the art who the first understood early in 1970 the value and the historical importance of the figures, in those years located in private collections in different houses, founding the Society of the Historical Models and Figures sited in piazza Calderini. After his death, the collection of prof.Massaccesi was acquired by the Society, asking the status of juridic personality to the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage, and beginning "National".
In 1990 the museum moved into the current seat and today it is the third museum in order of importance, after Kulmbach and Compiegne. More than 12000 figures are exhibited to the public, produced from 1800 to the present days, and they are divided in homogeneous groups: card figures, wood figures, printed tin figures, lead flat figures, paste figures, plastic figures hand painted, clay figures, small size figures for wargames, historical miniatures, dioramas. On the walls are paintings, sketches and relic regarding the story of the figures and uniforms. A really special series of pieces are a group of papal soldiers in light card, hand painted, going back the 1820 and belonged to the poet Giacomo Leopardi.
In 1997 a book illustrated in color was printed: Il Museo Nazionale del Soldatino "Mario Massaccesi" by R.Nannetti/Inchiostri Associati Editore.
Papal soldiers in light card,1820

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