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Turin, Italy

Pietro Micca Museum

This Torino museum honors a soldier who kept the city safe using barrels of exploding gunpowder, losing his life in the process. 

This Italian museum celebrates a brave soldier who sacrificed himself during the Siege of Turin by blowing up a group of gunpowder barrels, preventing French soldiers from entering the city via a network of tunnels. 

The Pietro Micca Museum tells the story of the titular, who sacrificed himself in 1706. As the tale goes, a group of French grenadiers had entered some mines, the tunnels of which would have given them access to the city. Micca, a sapper in the Italian army, heard the forces coming and blocked the door to the tunnels. As the French attempted to break through, Micca lined up a cluster of gunpowder barrels and set them alight. The resulting explosion maimed or killed all of the French soldiers, preventing their attack. Unfortunately Micca himself suffocated from the gasses released by the gunpowder. 

The museum dedicated to the incident now sits in Torino. The displays explain in detail the importance of the siege, the conditions, the people involved, and the tactics. The tour through the museum ends with a tour of the extensive tunnels beneath the city. They have also added some modern effects to the tour to make it more interesting and immersive.

The tunnels continued to be used for many years for reasons including ice storage, and are in great condition. The tour actually extends into the tunnels for several hundred meters and shows different intersecting tunnels. Also of note, for those on the streets of Torino, modern covers for the tunnels can still be seen built into the sidewalks.

Know Before You Go

It is on a side street off of Via Cernaia very close to the Piazza XVIII Dicembre metro stop.