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“Exceptionally good museum - a hidden gem”

Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943
Ranked #5 of 172 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.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Exceptionally good museum - a hidden gem”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

This museum is fantastic but I saw no publicity about it anywhere and would never have found it without Trip Advisor. Even our Sicilian hosts hadn't heard of it! I find the history of Italian Fascism very interesting and normally you find very little mention of it in Italian museums. Here there was a wealth of information, including a vast array of memorabilia. Most impressive though was the reconstruction of the 1943 village square and the air raid experience. Actually made the hairs on my neck stand up. I learnt a huge amount and thoroughly enjoyed it. One point though - the English translations are poor and many video installations are unsubtitled. There are many English and American visitors who would enjoy the museum more if there was more effort put in to the translation side. Also, the visitors' book was at the entrance - so I couldn't tell you how brilliant the museum was when I left! I was the only person in the museum for the whole of my visit - what a shame. Get more publicity - you are fantastic!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Caroline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A Very Moving Experience”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

This museum is not very well advertised and it would be a pity to miss it. It is very well presented with a wealth of exhibits. We loved the experience of the bomb shelter which was literally a very moving experience. Congratulations on creating a very special memorial to a little known episode of WW2.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank CasaDi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Well designed and very moving”
Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

I had forgotten pretty much everything I ever knew about the war in Italy and so this was both a welcome reminder and also a very moving story of what it was like for Sicilians during the period. The information is well paced and well laid out. There is a film at the beginning with English sub titles setting the scene. There is then a little 10 or 15 minute tour with a lovely guide who takes you through the replica of a typical street before and after the bombing. My Italian is very ropy indeed but she was patient and spoke sufficiently slowly for us to get the story. The rest of the museum gives attention to the civilian story as well as to the military history of the allied invasion. I am not particularly interested in weaponry or uniforms so we went through those rooms at a quicker pace. There is a moving installation right at the end with a sculpture of a dead young man who is naked and could be of any nationality. Playing on a small screen are the names of all the people who died in alphabetical order, civilians and combatants, with their names read aloud in their native language. This was very moving. Highly recommended.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Lynn2106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
251 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Excellent, unique museum”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

A unique museum. It is like a movie set in the beginning, You stand in the town square of a typical Sicilian village, then the air raid warning siren is heard. We were ushered into the bomb shelter where we sat on benches along the wall. We can hear and feel the bombs exploding. When we leave the shelter out the exit door, we see the same village square destroyed by the bombs. Lots of displays, actual pictures and videos from that time, and memorabilia from WWII. It was moving to see the hardships of the people and then the jubilation of the Sicilians when the Allies and the Americans freed Sicily. The Museum itself is in an industrial area and you may have to look for it, but it is very worthwhile. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank islandreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Moving”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Take a break from food & ruins...visit this war museum in Cantania. I'm not usually keen on museums but this one touched me, I had an uncle killed in this war & another who was a POW. The interpretive panels were excellent.The experience in a bomb shelter complete with flickering lights & it shaking brought a tear as I felt the fear of those who endured this time in history. The end was extremely moving, a naked bronze of a soldier laying in state with individual names of the fallen (on a loop) projected on a screen. Go if you can.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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