Area 3
TOURISM AND MOUNTAINEERING

bivacchi e rifugi museo montagna torino

Rocciamelone was climbed in 1358 by Bonifacio Rotario of Asti, but this was an isolated event. In actual fact, townspeople discovered the Alps only towards the end of the 18th century, driven by scientific reports and by the emotions of romantic spirits. After Haller, Rousseau and the first ascent of Mont Blanc (1786), the 19th-century middle classes started to develop a keen interest in the “delightful horrors” of the Alps, crossing the passes, staying in the first hotels, engaging Alpine guides. Tourism was born together with mountaineering.

The birth of a new industry

In the 19th century, following the pioneering discoveries mainly made by Englishmen, which also resulted in the first peaks being climbed, the Alpine valleys chanced upon a new industry: tourism. The mountain inhabitants still did not know that those eccentric visitors up from the city were destined to break up their culture and history.

The places of waiting

Refuges and bivouacs are the outpost for whoever is thinking of climbing the Alps. At first spartan makeshift shelters, then increasingly comfortable lodgings at high altitude, they have seen the history of mountaineering pass by. The times change, equipment changes, but a night in a refuge is still the best way for immersing oneself in the mystery of the mountain, in the wait for tomorrow.

​The bond of the rope and the significance of the piton

The rope is a symbol of mountaineering, because it signifies safety in a world made of emptiness. Ropes have changed much since the time of the pioneers, when a hemp rope tore and broke on the Matterhorn, in 1865, causing Whymper and Croz’s famous tragedy. Today, synthetic ropes have reduced these risks considerably. Pitons were proudly opposed until the First World War, used with the greatest skill in the period of the 6th degree, overused in the 1960s, banished from the 1970s dispute in favour of jamming instruments (nut and friend), and finally restored in the 1980s with the expanding piton (bolt).

turismo e alpinismo museo montagna torino
rifugi e bivacchi museo montagna torino
corda alpinismo museo montagna torino

Other halls

Area 1 FROM MYSTERY TO CIVILIZATION

Area 1
FROM MYSTERY TO CIVILIZATION

Mountains have always inspired fear. Inhabited by gods and demons, dragons and evil beings, dispensers of landslides, avalanches and floods, they were places of mystery to be explored and tamed. But mountain civilisation has gone beyond this: even where nature was at...

read more
Area 2 COMMUNICATIONS

Area 2
COMMUNICATIONS

Mountains, and the Alps in particular, can act to unify the people living in the valleys or to separate the people of the opposing plains. The Romans already had to resolve the problem of crossing the Alps in order to connect up their empire. Today, railways and roads...

read more
Area 4 THE ITALIAN ALPINE CLUB

Area 4
THE ITALIAN ALPINE CLUB

When the Italian Alpine club was founded in the 19th century there was no division between mountaineering practice and scientific research. Quintino Sella, finance minister of the newly-fledged Kingdom of Italy, was equally at ease on rock faces or in geology...

read more

GO TO THE FLOORS

GROUND FLOOR

FIRST FLOOR

SECOND FLOOR