Museum of the Risorgimento Lucca

The foundations of the present Museum of the Risorgimento were established following the end of the First World War, when veterans from the city and province of Lucca, as members of the province’s Combatants’ Federation, undertook to collect historical material that documented Lucca’s role in both the events leading to Italian unification and its conclusion in 1915 – 1918. In 1925, thanks to major public and private donations and the work of Colonel Giuseppe Ambrogi, Orlando Cheli and Alessandro Belli, the “War Museum” was first established in premises near the San Donato Gate. Four years later, on the initiative of Lucca’s city authority, the Museum was transferred to the Villa Guinigi – where it remained until 1951 – and inaugurated in the presence of Costanzo Ciano, the then Minister of Posts and Communications. Between the 1950s and 1980s, thanks to the tireless work of Colonel Guido Lucini, president of the National Association of Combatants and Veterans, and of Maurizio Baldini (not forgetting two other Association presidents, Rosario Tarchia and Vittorio Romani), the material was not only preserved but also transferred and newly exhibited in 1989 in this building in the Cortile degli Svizzeri, under the name of the “Museum of the Risorgimento”. In 2013, with the passage of more than twenty years and increased public consciousness of the importance of memory and national history, as evidenced by the attendance at the events marking the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification, the Province of Lucca Administrative Authority, with support from the Region of Tuscany, the Lucca Savings Bank Foundation and the Monte di Lucca Bank Foundation, reopened the doors of this “house of remembrance” following a major refurbishment of the Museum. The objective of the new exhibition layout is to take the visitor on a voyage of discovery of the nation’s origins and its roots, in a historical journey encompassing local information and national events.