Inaugurated in July 2013, MUSE is, thanks to the Autonomous Province of Trento's willingness to invest in culture, a dream come true.
It's a museum in which the lead role is played by the public: multimedia exhibits, interactive games, hands-on experimentation and a practical “doing” ethos constitute a set of informal learning tools that let visitors build up a view of the world and take part in the scientific debate on key local and global topics.
At MUSE, the tapestry of tales and discoveries, nature and science, past and future is brought to life through experimentation, discovery and display, making the museum an ideal family outing at any time of the year.
Designed by Renzo Piano, the architecture enhances the entire experience by responding to eco-compatible criteria: the building's silhouette merges with the crags of the surrounding mountains, its solid-hollow balance giving the entire facility unique appeal.
Special display areas
The History of Life - The biggest dinosaur exhibition in the Alps
The basement floor (-1) explores topics such as evolution, man's relationship with nature, biological processes and the characteristics of DNA, doing so through informal learning, interactive experiences, play and observation.
A spiral structure invites the visitor to enter the world of prehistory. Local findings are displayed to illustrate the main phases of the cultural, economic and social prehistory of the Alps. The Neanderthal presence in the middle Paleolithic, the arrival of Homo sapiens at the end of the Upper Paleolithic and his venture into the Alpine valleys in the Mesolithic period, the introduction of agriculture and farming in the Neolithic period and the great technological innovations of metal working at the end of prehistory times.
FabLab, experiencing science first-hand - The digital fabrication workshop that promotes creativity
FabLab (short for fabrication laboratory) is a small workshop open to the public that provides personal digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl plotters and an array of Arduino microcontrollers. More than a creative centre, FabLab is also a learning and training area, a workshop in which to solve local problems, a resource and skills community, a social and economic innovation platform.
Maxi Ooh! - A sensory experience for the youngest visitors
An experience designed to amaze and involve. A space for those aged 5 and under that lets them discover, understand, observe and have a go for themselves. Starting with what they know best: touching, smelling, looking and listening. Maxi Ooh! is unique. It lets children expand their experience via their senses in a way that is fresh and original, every single time.
From the mountains of Africa, the tropical greenhouse - An international research and cooperation project
MUSE's tropical greenhouse brings a fragment of the Eastern Arc forests, a major East Tropical Africa mountain chain, to Trento. This greenhouse hosts species unique to the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania, letting visitors get a close look at the shapes and colours of one of Earth's biodiversity hotspots.
Photo: Matteo De Stefano
An international research centre
The Science Museum performs basic and applied multidisciplinary research work in the natural sciences area. It does so with the aim of investigating, interpreting, educating, engaging and inspiring in the fields of nature, science, innovation and future sustainability.
MUSE has seven scientific research sections employing over 40 researchers: Botany, Limnology and Phycology, Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, Vertebrate Zoology, Tropical Biodiversity, Geology, Prehistory. Activities fall into two macro-areas: biodiversity and ecology; environmental science, paleo-environment and anthropic landscapes. The recently added Science and Society section studies the relationships between nature, science and society.
Dalmeri Rock Shelter
MUSE is in charge of Dalmeri rock shelter, a key site for the reconstruction of the behavior, the activities and the exploitation of the Alpine territories by the last Paleolithic hunter-gatherers that inhabited the Alps.
The uniqueness of this site was revealed by the discovery of numerous red ochre painted stones (over 200), which provides new research perspectives about the artistic-religious sphere of these people.