Italy’s north might be the extremely less romantic, industrialised end of the country but there’s a special history here, particularly when talking the automobile sector. And what must only be a temple to automobile history has finally reopened in the form of the National Italian Automobile Museum in Turin.
The newly restored museum opened over the weekend in the midst of celebrations for Italy’s 150 years of unification, and already 9,203 visitors have passed through. It has been dedicated to Giovanni Agnelli, one of Italy’s most famous names in the automobile sector, and was opened by President Giorgio Napolitano.
So what exactly can you see at the museum? Over two centuries of Italian automobile history from the first steam models produced in 1769, to the modern prototypes and concepts produced recently. There is even former President Sandro Pertini’s Fiat 500 on display. The Turin museum is open from Mondays 10am to 2pm, Tuesdays 2pm to 7pm, and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10am to 7pm. Late opening on Fridays is until 9pm and tickets are €8.
The late Giovanni Agnelli had a passion for yachts with a classic design. A passion which started in the 1950s when the heir to the Agnelli fortune bought the Agneta, an amazing yacht designed by Knut Reimer; 25 metres long, this luxury boat won several competitions including the famous Mediterranean Classic Yacht. But the big news is that the yatch, after undergoing a careful restoration, has been put on sale for 1, 45 million euros!
Prince Carlo Caracciolo, a pivotal figure in the history of journalism, died just a few days ago. With Eugenio Scalfaro, another prominent Italian journalist, he founded La Repubblica in 1976, one of Italy’s leading newspapers. Several years before he had created another famous weekly magazine called L’espresso. He led an amazing life. Born in 1925, Mr Caracciolo fought in the Resistance movement; captured was sentenced to death by the Fascists but the night before his execution, he stubbornly refused to clean the toilets and this won him the admiration of his jailers. Prince Caracciolo succeeded in escaping death and at the end of the war he began a new phase in his life. As soon as he arrived in Milan he requisitioned a room at the Grand Hotel in via Manzoni (Giuseppe Verdi had died there) - the only bed availabe in the whole city. A few days later he also managed to save the life of his former jailer.