Museo Casa Don Bosco
Inaugurated in October 2020, the new Museum Casa Don Bosco in Valdocco, Turin, celebrates the life and work of the priest Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco (1815–1888). Famed humanitarian and Founder of the Salesians and Daughters of Mary, Mother of Our Savior, (Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice) he was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934 for his lifelong commitment to helping others.
Don Bosco’s early life was spent in Asti, northern Italy. His farming family experienced poverty and tragedy, which left a lasting impression on him. He trained as a priest and arrived in Turin during the 1840s. By that time, the industrial revolution and rapid urbanization had brought radical changes to society. Many young people moved to the city seeking a better life and found only hardship, condemned to living in slums or on the streets.
With unflagging determination, Don Bosco took up the challenges of his time. He helped orphans, street children and exploited young workers. He assisted juvenile prisoners in overcrowded prisons, fought youth illiteracy and created some of the first employment contracts for apprentices in Turin.
He was committed to instilling a desire for education and nurturing the growth of faith, based on love and compassion. Don Bosco was also a maverick visionary who invested in schools, laboratories and new technologies. His ideas and influence changed the social and urban fabric of Turin. .
His life and legacy are now celebrated across the 4,000 square meters and 27 exhibition spaces that comprise the Palazzo Pinardi. Within are rooms that recreate the ordinary life of the first oratory in Don Bosco’s day.
The Museum has completely transformed the site layout. Rooms located under the courtyard and the House of the Mother (Casa Madre) have been painstakingly restored, along with the collection of objects that belonged to both Don Bosco and the first Salesian community.
The Don Bosco Museum’s exhibition spaces are designed by Professor Massimo Chiappetta, and architect Sergio Sabbadini is responsible for the building renovation design.
Goppion has created five showcases with a steel structure, four of which are vertical island showcases, equipped with hinged or rotating opening systems.
These showcases display a range of objects, including unique items from Don Bosco’s personal collection. The fifth showcase is a horizontal display case with a flap opened means of gas-driven springs. It hosts the precious founding manuscript of the Salesian Congregation.
Each showcase is characterized by a high safety index, guaranteed both by the use of extra-clear laminated glass sheets and safety locks, and by a passive humidity stabilization system. The display cabinets are also equipped with Goppion’s magnetic LED bar internal lighting system.
The Casa Don Bosco proudly takes its place as part of Turin and Piedmont’s rich museum network. It is not only a tribute to the life and works of a remarkable man, but also a great cultural center and a perfect combination of art, history, architecture, faith and devotion.