Castello di Rivoli

Top choice in Turin

Turin, Italy - April 9, 2014: Castello di Rivoli castle near Turin Italy

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Some 21km west of Turin, the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art is a giant of modern art in Piedmont. Its ambition and reach, not to mention healthy regional funding, has been the envy of Milan, Venice and Rome's art worlds. The permanent collection has a sizeable number of Arte Povera works, which are beautifully displayed in the historical setting, along with pieces from the Transavanguardia, Minimal, Body and Land Art movements.

This includes an impressive selection of video work from artists such as Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and Vanessa Beecroft, while temporary exhibitions have included international heavyweights (Sophie Calle, Gilbert & George and Joseph Kosuth in recent years), spliced with some hard-hitting Italian mid-careerists.

There's definitely an academic seriousness to the place, but its impressive mix of contemporary and baroque architecture, amazing views, and highly engaging, often provocative, shows are never dull.

Rivoli's latest crown jewel, which opened in 2019, is the Villa Cerruti. This is the former mansion-home of a reclusive art collector who amassed over €600 million worth of artistic treasures. Shuttle buses (with separate tickets purchased online well in advance) from the castle whisk visitors out to the villa for a guided tour of the lavish, antique-filled home with works by Modigliani, Kandinsky, Giacometti, Picasso, Klee, de Chirico and Magritte.

From May through August, the Castello di Rivoli Express (€3) runs on weekends from Piazza Castello and Porta Susa four times a day, starting at 10am. Otherwise, take the metro to Paradiso station and then bus 36 to Rivoli bus station.