Best museums in Italy: The Egyptian Museum in Turin

Egyptian Museum1

The Egyptian Museum in Turin (Museo Egizio di Torino) houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world and is undoubtedly one of thebest museums in Italy.

The museum was founded in 1824 when the Savoy king, Carlo Felice, acquired a large collection of Egyptian artefacts. Today there are 6,500 objects on display with further 26,000 objects kept in storage. Such an impressive collection attracts over 540,000 visitors a year, scholars and ordinary people from all over the world, and the number is steadily growing. Earlier this year the museum expanded its displays after extensive improvements incorporating 3-D films and historical photos to make the experience more exciting and immersive.

Best museums in Italy
Display at the Museo Egizio di Torino

The new re-vamped displays show items from daily life and the pharaoh’s courts and tombs in a chronological order, from the 4th century BC to the Coptic period. One of the museum’s highlights is the intact tomb of Kha, a tomb builder to the pharaohs, dating back to 3,500 BC. It has spectacular sarcophagi, statues, furniture, as well as well-preserved salted meat and remains of tamarind and grapes.

Best museums in Italy
King Thutmosi III

The magnificent Drovetti Papyrus collection is considered by some experts as the most important in the world. Its showpiece is the so-called Turin King List, which lists every ruler from 300 to 1,600 BC. You can also see a 5,500-year-old cloth depicting depicts ritual dancing and hunting. It was found in a tomb at Gebelein and is believed to be one of the world’s oldest painted fabrics.

Best museums in Italy
Statuette of Kha


Other highlights include the imposing statue of Ramesses II, statues of the gods Isis and Sekhmet. The massive 3,500-years-old Ellesija Temple is another exhibit that will leave you in awe. Egypt donated it to Italy as a gesture of gratitude for the help in safeguarding the temples of Nubia and the temple was transferred in its entirety to Turin in 1966.

 Photos by: Elena Gabrielli, Maurizio Zanetti, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.