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“Tucked away but also in plain sight!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Museo del Precinema

Museo del Precinema
Prato della Valle 1/A, 35123 Padua, Italy
+39 049 876 3838
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Ranked #12 of 82 Attractions in Padua
Type: Museums
Attraction details
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Tucked away but also in plain sight!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This is a tiny museum very near the Basilica of St. Anthony. We were the only ones in the 3 room museum on the day that we were there. There are hundreds of examples of pre-cinema visuals and equipment, along with a 20 minute short-film (English subtitles). The film focuses on the history of "magic lanterns" and all the other pieces of equipment that eventually resulted in movie cameras. I did not know what to expect...but my husband, myself, and my pre-teens enjoyed our 1 hour visit, learning how visual images incrementally changed as new technology was developed throughout Europe and the US and presented to eager audiences of all kinds. I had thoughts of my childhood ViewMaster (you put in a disc with transparent film and see photos) as I viewed the 100 year old slides of "A visit to Rome" or "A day at the beach". The colors were so vibrant, some images very realistic, others very romanticized. If you are looking for a quiet activity, with some hands-on opportunities, I highly recommend a visit to this low-key, unique museum (but not for young children, ie under 9 years old)

Visited April 2013
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Hidden gem in the heart of Padova”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

It's maybe easy to find a cinema expert... but what about a pre-cinema expert? Our guide through this small but lovely museum in the city centre of Padova was brilliant, as he explained us all the secrets of cinema before the frères Lumière. My family and I really appreciated it.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Padova, Italia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Worth a visit! Just near Saint Anthony facing Prato della Valle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

The museum is located in a corner of Prato della Valle at the beginning of Via Umberto I (before starting the journey that leads to the heart of the squares "Piazze" of Padua), you have to ring the bell and go up to the third floor. There is a small, but really picked museum on the history of small but complex equipment that anticipated the cinema. The ticket costs 3 euro. Follow the beautiful movie about 20 minutes, which introduces the history of the "magic lanterns". If you have children will really enjoy because you can also interact with some machines still working.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntsville, Alabama
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012 via mobile

This is a really surprising and charming place, very well laid out and fun to see. The 20-minute video about magic lanterns and all the other pre-cinema devices was very enjoyable. This is very easy to find, at Prato delle Valle, close to Trattotio al Prato. You do have to ring the bell more than once.
Extra bonus: the best toilet paper in Europe.

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Genoa, Italy
Top Contributor
452 reviews 452 reviews
219 attraction reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
934 helpful votes 934 helpful votes
“Excellent! Don't Miss It!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2012

I’ve been to Padova a few times, so I was looking for something off the beaten tourist track to do. Thanks to TA reviewers, (which is really changing the way we travel!) I found The Precinema Museum and because of the good reviews, I decided to visit it. What a wonderful museum, totally unknown to me on previous visits and a wonderful activity for both adults and kids. The museum opened in 1998 and is a private collection of all things dealing with the birth of the cinema in the late 1800’s and it’s all displayed wonderfully with signage in both English and Italian. The gentleman, who greeted me, explained the layout of the museum, demonstrated how to use some of the viewers and then showed a very interesting 20 minute movie about the history of the cinema in Italian with English subtitles. I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful hand painted landscape slides, the fairy tales, and old painted pictures of many Italian cities. It’s really a delightful museum that will take you back to a lovely time!

Although it’s easy to find, I had never noticed it before. The museum sits on the corner of Prato della Valle and you must ring the bell to enter (see the pictures). From there take the elevator or walk up 3 flights of steps, with cardboard figures showing you the way. Once inside the museum, photos are not allowed, but they have an informative brochure in English with lovely pictures. It’s open from 10am to 4pm, daily and closed on Tuesday. I was surprised that it only cost 3eu! They have a small gift shop and were very friendly, making this a wonder visit! Highly recommended!

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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