Located on Piazza Carignano—one of the most majestic in a city full of splendid corners—the equally impressive redbrick palazzo of the same name acquired huge national importance as the occasional home of Italy’s first king after the country’s Unification in 1861. Originally built between 1679 and 1685 by baroque maestro Guarino Guarini, the palace now houses the Museo del Risorgimento (meaning “resurgence” or “revival”): At its heart is the ornate circular chamber where Italy’s first parliament met. The museum may be focused on the past, but the fascinating way it presents its displays is quite innovative for an Italian museum, with multilingual signage and labeling, audio guides, video guides, and interactive touchscreens. More than 30 artfully decorated rooms detail the military campaigns that led to Unification; even non-Italians can easily appreciate the stirring drama of these years. Uniforms, paintings, weapons, maps, and correspondence testify to feats of great bravado, tracing a course through the Italy of the 19th century from Napoleon to Garibaldi.

 

 

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