The Mole Antonelliana – Turin’s Best Kept SECRET

An Overview of Mole Antonelliana

The Mole Antonelliana is Turin’s architectural landmark. At first, it was conceived as a synagogue, but the Municipality of Turin bought it and transformed it into a monument of national unity. Alessandro Antonelli is the planner and architect of the historic building.

Alessandro Antonelli
Source: Wikipedia

According to historical records, its construction lasted between 1863 and 1889 and was the tallest building in Europe at the time, standing 167.5 meters tall. Its panoramic lift was launched in 1961 during the commemoration of the centenary of the Italian Unification. It was later renovated in 1961.

Currently, visitors worldwide visit the building to go up the panoramic terrace that is 85 meters tall. Additionally, during your Mole Antonelliana visita, you will enjoy amazing views of the city of Turin and the surrounding Alps. Visitors can also choose to climb the dome stairs on foot along the cavity.    

The Architecture and Design of Mole Antonelliana di Torino

The Mole Antonelliana stands on a square base surmounted by a dome that is also surmounted by a colonnaded level, also known as a loggia. The other name for the loggia is “tempietto,” or a small temple. Its narrow spire that aims to scrape the sky is unmatched.

The architectural masterpiece has a panoramic elevator that provides access to the tempietto. Visitors usually come to the tempietto to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and its environs.

The building’s design was a Jewish synagogue built by the Jewish community after initial limitations were lifted—the community intended to use the temple to impose and celebrate its full integration into civil society.

The land was purchased in the 17th century, and the synagogue’s construction tender was given to architect Alessandro Antonelli. The Italian architect began his work in 1863.

The approved design comprised a building with a square plan and barrel-vaulted roof 47-meters high to accommodate 1500 people. The first floor housed the vast hall of the synagogue. On the other hand, the ground floor was supposed to be administration, schools, and a wide range of community services.

However, Antonelli made considerable changes to the building’s height during construction, that the costs skyrocketed. As a result, the community was forced to stop the work in 1869 for the first time.

After that, the building’s construction became a matter of public interest because the Jewish Community did not have the resources to complete the structure. The City of Turin bought the project in 1878 to be used as a museum for the National commemoration of King Vittorio Emanuele II.

Eventually, the Mole Antonelliana was never used as a synagogue. However, its construction was completed in 1889, and it remains the symbol of Turin.  

Mole Antonelliana

Mole Antonelliana Museo Cinema- The Symbol of Turin

Whether you are exploring the streets of Turin or in the surrounding hills, the Mole Antonelliana di Torino always stands out. It is also simply known as the Mole. It is an enigmatic symbol of Turin that dominates its skyline with its architectural magnificence and rich history.

Sites to see at Mole Antonelliana

The Mole Antonelliana Museo del Cinema Torino – The Cinema Museum Turin

Today, the Mole Antonelliana is the location of one of the most important museums in Italy. When you visit the cinema museum, you will come across the history of cinema, including everything that has contributed to its birth and assertion.

For instance, you will discover the first photography equipment used to capture the first real pictures. It will astound you how some of the primordial equipment stored in the museum can still create visual effects. This was the initial step in the evolution before pictures started to move and illuminate brightly.  

According to renowned Italian writer Ennio Flaiano, cinema is the only art form where the works move, and the audience remains static. In this regard, visitors of the Mole will enjoy the feeling of continuous movement towards a non-specific destination.

Consider participating in the light and shadow, object resizing, and sound effects to make your Mole Antonelliana visita more interactive. Additionally, you can use the archaic equipment or enjoy a wide range of photos, videos, and posters at the historic site.

Those elements are critical in helping the visitors understand the history of the individuals who ardently worked in the world of cinema. In addition, the display allows visitors to discover old hidden cinematographic tricks and special effects used before technology and special effects took over.

The museum also has a traditional cinema to allow it to stay true to its name. You will find classic cinema seats on the ground floor where visitors relax as they “browse” through photos and videos.

The Mole Antonelliana Ascensore Panoramico – Panoramic Lift

The architectural masterpiece is impressive from its ground level. However, the real fun lies in its Panoramic Lift, also known as the Mole Antonelliana Ascensore Panoramico. After going past the bottom floors, the inside of the Mole tower is hollow.

Therefore, as you rise from the basement to the pinnacle in the glass elevator, you’ll have an unmatched experience. The elevator has no shaft; it is just a set of cables dangling straight down the tower’s center.   

The Terrace

Before ending your trip at The Mole, take the elevator to the terrace located at the base of the building’s top. While there, you will enjoy an unmatched view of Turin. As you look down, the blend of traditional and modern architecture will amaze you. You’ll also lose yourself in the jigsaw puzzle of streets and outstanding landscapes encircled by the Alps.

Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Mole Antonelliana

The Mole attracts visitors from different parts of the world. Therefore, you will find long queues of visitors lining up to purchase their Mole Antonelliana biglietti (tickets). To avoid this conundrum, consider getting your Mole Antonelliana biglietti online.

The Mole is open for visitors throughout the week except on Tuesdays when the museum and Panoramic lift are closed. Saturday’s working hours are from 9 am to 11 pm, but you can explore the historic site from 9 am to 8 pm during other days.

The Mole Antonelliana Prezzo Ingrosso depends on what you want to do. For instance, those visiting the Museum only pay different ticket prices to those visiting the museum and panoramic lift. Furthermore, kids and persons living with disabilities can access the facility for free.

There are also guided tours like the Cupola Ascent Tour, which you must book beforehand if you need an English tour. The final admission to the Mole is an hour before closing time.

Other Things to do in and Around Turin

Apart from visiting the Mole, there are many other things you can do in and around Turin. They include:

Sites and Turin Attractions

Piazza Castello

Turin was Italy’s first capital. It was also the royal seat of the Savoys. When they left, the royal family left behind palaces and picturesque squares, including the Piazza Castello, the king of them all. It is surrounded by other magnificent buildings, including:

  • Palazzo di Reale – is a 16th-century structure. You need a ticket to get access to the palace. But, you can walk with the locals through the palace grounds as you discover hidden magnificent castle grounds for free.
  • Palazzo Madama – Princess Regent Christine Marie of France led Turin in the mid-1600s. She was the Madama of Palazzo Madama. While inside the Palazzo Madama, you can explore medieval sculpture and jewelry. You will also find Middle Age and Renaissance art, furniture, and paintings.

Museum and Galleries

Museo Egizio – Egyptian Museum

You must be wondering, what is the world’s second most important Egyptian Museum doing in Turin? Seemingly, at the turn of the last century, Torino’s best archeologists were in Egypt, getting stuff from tombs of the ancient Egyptian kings and queens.

The museum is home to an awe-inspiring collection. Some notable pieces include mummified people, cats, small mammals, and rodents. Moreover, you will also find numerous stone statues.

Turin Walking Tours

  • Free walking tour – happens from around 10:30 am for three hours. The tour is free is available in different languages and days of the week. This is critical for getting the city’s bearings and history. You will also discover places you can eat.
  • Welcome to Turin tour – this is a tailored private tour in the company of a Torino local. It is the ideal way to discover the city’s hidden highlights. You will have to book this tour online before you arrive.
  • 3-hour downtown and Egyptian museum tour – this is a guided tour that lasts 3 hours. If you are in a hurry, this tour shows you the city’s biggest highlights and the best of the Egyptian museum.

Other activities

  • Visiting Monte dei Cappuccini
  • Visiting La Mandria Regional Park
  • Walking along the Po
  • Day trips from Torino
  • Gran Paradiso


Torino is a fantastic tourist destination full of hidden prehistoric sites. The Mole Antonelliana is undoubtedly Torino’s best-kept secret! Apart from being a notable architectural building in the city, its rich history is breathtaking.

The Mole Antonelliana Museo Cinema and the Mole Antonelliana Ascensore Panoramico are the most notable sites to visit in the building. Additionally, when you visit Turin, there are many other sites you can explore.

So, if Turin is not on your bucket list, then your list is incomplete!