MUSE – The Science Museum Trento, Italy

The Science Museum is an auxiliary body of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Its task is to interpret nature, starting from the mountains, using the eyes, tools, and applications of scientific research, taking advantage of the challenges of the contemporary world, stimulating scientific curiosity and the pleasure of knowledge, giving value to science, innovation, and sustainability.

The Science Museum of Trento, designed by Renzo Piano, dedicates six floors to topics such as science and nature, biodiversity, innovation and technology.

Thanks to multimedia exhibits and immersive environments, MUSE explains the wonders of the alpine environment and the nature that surrounds us. Another focus lies in issues of global interest, such as sustainable development and environmental conservation, which are equally engaging.

The new MUSE is located south of the historic Palazzo delle Albere in the new city district Le Albere, which was also planned by Renzo Piano. Since 2013 the new museum replaces the old science museum of Trento. It stretches over 6 floors with a length of 130 m each, the entire area is about 12,600 m².

In this museum science and technology show the interaction of humans and the environment. The MUSE especially invites young, children and families to a wonderful journey into science and nature.

The metaphor of the mountain is used in the exhibition to relate life on earth, the first Alpine dwellers, the history of the Dolomites and nature of the Alps. The MUSE also organises numerous events and temporary exhibitions.

​‪The Science Museum has conducted numerous scientific interactive exhibits in the most diverse disciplines: natural and biological sciences, physics and mathematics, astronomy, and social issues such as mobility and safety.‬

The exhibits in this section have special characteristics with regard to the number of installations, the exhibition area, technological resources and the economic costs.

The roots of the Science Museum mingle with the ancient collections of notable Trentino people who, in the late 1700’s, enriched the historic-artistic museum in the town hall of the city with naturalistic objects. At the end of the 1800’s, natural history collections were stored together with those of other kinds at the Thun palace, the current town hall. In 1922, the Museum of Natural History of Trento was founded, on the top floor of the building in Via Verdi, now home to the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Trento.

In 1964, the Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences was established, administratively linked to the Autonomous Province of Trento. Since 1982, the museum moved to the via Calepina site, at the historic Sardagna palace.

The ’90s marked a “new direction” with productions and interactive exhibits in the style of modern science centers and a new generation of researchers supported by European Community funding in the field of environmental research. The museum’s new role in research was presented in 1997 with the exhibition “The Museum studies the Alps”. In 2000, the exhibition “The Deluge” revealed a conception change, based on interaction and experimentation and a solid educational program.

The museum expanded encompassing other connected centers located around Trentino in places of high natural and touristic interest: these include the historic Viote Alpine Botanical Garden, the adjacent Star Terrace, the Stilt House Museum on the Ledro Lake, the Gianni Caproni Museum, the Geological Museum of the Dolomites in Predazzo, and the Lake Tovel Limnological Station.