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“Well worth the trouble to find it!”

Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943
Ranked #3 of 205 things to do in Catania
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The "Allied Landings in Sicily Museum" (Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943) is housed in one of the buildings forming the "Ciminiere" cultural centre. The museum narrates the events that took place in Sicily from 10 July to 8 September 1943. This period is still recent history, only seventy years have passed and many senior citizens can still recount the experience. Everything that we have forgotten is now conserved in this museum which aims to protect our most precious asset: peace. The museum is arranged on three floors covering an area of 3,000 square metres, including a temporary exhibition area. By means of reconstructed settings the museum has tried to recreate the conditions of life before, during and after the war, using simulations, projections and original exhibits.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We weren't sure exactly how long this has been open, but they seem to do their best to hide it at the back of a rather sad-looking half-closed 'cultural centre' called Zo, converted apparently from the old sulpher works.

We were the only visitors, but the Italian-only speaking staff were keen to welcome us and get us started on our visit. This begins with an English-version film compilation of the run up to the second world war and Italy's involvement, leading up to the point of the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. From this you are then taken into an extraordinary staged evocation of an air raid on a Sicilian village, witnessing the transformation of the village square into a pile of ruins once you have literally been shaken about in an air raid shelter.

More film vividly portrays the devastation suffered by many towns and inhabitants throughout the allied invasion, and some good multi-visual exhibits provide a good account of the allies' rapid advance. After that there are very extensive displays of the combatants' uniforms, weapons and equipment, plus some fascinating wax works of Churchill, Mussolini, Hitler and other key players. The display of Fascist uniforms for members of the party, particularly young people was fascinating and highly disturbing.

Don't miss this museum on a visit to Catania, it's well worth the trouble to find it.

7  Thank flj3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bomb shelter"
in 43 reviews
"air raid"
in 23 reviews
"allied invasion of sicily"
in 11 reviews
"great museum"
in 9 reviews
"sicilian village"
in 7 reviews
"village square"
in 6 reviews
"war museum"
in 6 reviews
"both sides"
in 8 reviews
"wax figures"
in 4 reviews
"english subtitles"
in 4 reviews
"battlefield tour"
in 3 reviews
"reconstructed village"
in 2 reviews
"short film"
in 2 reviews
"key figures"
in 2 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 2 reviews
"museum starts"
in 2 reviews
"typical village"
in 3 reviews
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161 - 165 of 669 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2013

This is in a complex and maybe marked as Le Ciminiere on your map, there is quite a lot of original footage from the time and shows the devastation of the bombing. They have slotted opening times which are explained on the doors, we almost gave up as the place can look shut! It has some interpretations in English. Didn't find the cafe-restaurant however.

1  Thank greysurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Informative, evocative, and well curated. Our small children found it interesting and not too scary, Well worth a visit and affordable ticket price.

2  Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

We didn't have high expectations but it was a wonderful experience. The museum does a great job of showing and helping you experience the war in Sicily. The bomb shelter was very exciting g to experience. It is mostly in Italian but there are enough English explanations that you get what is being shown. My husband and I are really happy we found this place.

2  Thank mmccauley2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 11, 2013

This is a great museum that details the invasion of Sicily by the Allies during WWII. I wish we had known more about this period of time before visiting, but there is nothing left out of the excellent displays. One of the most gripping sections was a recreation of a bombing raid, during which the visitor experiences the sounds and feelings of those who went through them in their village's bomb shelter.

1  Thank kathysommer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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