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Tempio Voltiano, Como

3.7
#4 of 20 in Historic Sites in Como
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Architectural Building
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The Tempio Voltiano (Italian; Volta Temple in English) is a museum in the city of Como, Italy that is dedicated to Alessandro Volta, a prolific scientist and the inventor of the electrical battery. Volta was born in Como in 1745, held his first professorship there until 1779, and retired to Como in 1819.

The neoclassical building was designed by Federico Frigerio (1873–1959). It was completed in 1927 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the scientist's death, but was inaugurated in 1928. It hosts a collection of scientific instruments used by the physicist including his early voltaic piles (batteries). The first floor has a display of his personal belongings and his awards.

In 1984 the museum was featured on the back of the 10,000 lire banknote. Volta's portrait was depicted on the front of the same banknote. The notes circulated until 2001, when the Euro notes replaced them. Banknotes based on the Italian lira have since been replaced by notes denominated in Euros.

Near the Tempio Voltiano are the new statue by Daniel Libeskind named Life Electric and the Faro Voltiano. both dedicated to Volta.

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Tempio Voltiano reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
483 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful location. So much to see and do. Many spoke English. The hotel Barchetta Excelsior was great location and a view of the lake. 2nd floor rooms do not have balconies but 3+ do. The food is... 
    Beautiful location. So much to see and do. Many spoke English. The hotel Barchetta Excelsior was great location and a view of the lake. 2nd floor rooms do not have balconies but 3+ do. The food is...  more »
  • Who doesn’t know Alessandro Volta, the most famous citizen of Como? Well, entering this little but beautiful building you will have a journey through this life and what he discovered. Very... 
    Who doesn’t know Alessandro Volta, the most famous citizen of Como? Well, entering this little but beautiful building you will have a journey through this life and what he discovered. Very...  more »
Google
  • Alessandro Volta is clearly revered in Como, and rightly so. The Tempio is like a mini-Pantheon and is a stunning building in a stunning location. There is a historical timeline around the upper gallery which is in Italian but there is an English language guide which covers the main story. The lower floor contains real and replica examples of his experimental equipment. This could have been really interesting but there were no descriptions (in any language) of the equipment and what it was used for. This is a vast wasted opportunity. A friendly guide came across to me when I was about half-way round and lent me an English-language booklet which just listed the exhibits, without explaining them. The whole museum is a lost educational opportunity: no non-physicist would come out wiser than when they entered!
  • Very impressive! The location is very nicely positioned, right next to the lake with the most amazing view. The lake has a really small area with sand and pebbles to sink your feet in the lake on a hot day. 🔥 Gets really busy in the summer and can get crowed.

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