One of the factories set up by Alfred Nobel to produce explosives in the late 1800s, this fascinating place operated until the 1960s and has been recreated to give visitors a small taste of what working in an explosives factory in wartime Italy was like.
Not quite your average tourist stopping point, the site is rarely bustling with visitors, and those that do visit are said to be left to wander around the extensive site without any sort of guide. Using photographs, sound effects, tools, videos and explanatory panels, the interactive exhibits explore the production of various explosives and the dangers involved in using them, from the obvious to less dramatic but equally troubling health risks. Italy’s history in regard to things that go boom is also touched on, as well as the story of the factory itself, including its destruction by American Allied Forces in 1945.
Much of the facility is underground and consists of several different levels. The reliance on dynamite during the World Wars is a subject thoroughly covered in the exhibits, and visitors can “enjoy” a visit to a reconstructed air raid shelter, sound effects and all. The factory and the museum it has become have deep ties to the city’s economic and social life, and Avigliana takes great pride in the history of the commodity that kept it running through wartime and the industrial architecture that housed it.