• 2022.07.15
Since inflation is skyrocketing and prices are going up like crazy, I have decided to travel more locally this year and I may even skip my annual trip abroad.
I therefore chose to visit one more local attraction I had never been to before: the small, but charming, Cinema Museum of Genoa, now renamed Fantacinema exhibition.
Also nicknamed Cine Ciak by local people, some friends of mine passionate about movies had told me it’s small and I was a bit skeptical about visiting it at first.
I must admit I was fascinated by it though and now I think it’s one of those underrated attractions our city has to offer.

The Fantacinema exhibition is located at the Porto Antico in Genoa and it was reborn with the ambitious goal to become the first permanent museum dedicated to fantasy in cinema.
Previously known as the Cinema Museum, it was hosted somewhere else in one of the anonymous buildings of the city center but now it found its permanent location in the former cotton warehouses close to the harbor.
And they are much more charming.
These buildings used to be old and unused former cotton warehouses which the worldwide famous Genoese architect Renzo Piano redeveloped by renovating the ancient buildings and creating new points of interest.
Such buildings now host restaurants, other small museums, a movie theatre and the Fantacinema exhibition.
The latter is a gallery dedicated to fantastic cinema in all its forms: from science fiction to horror, but it has other genres additions as well.

In the first room you can access an interactive path that allows you to learn about the expressions that preceded the inventions of Edison and the Lumiere Brothers: shadow theater, darkroom, optical boxes, stereoscopies and magic lanterns.
The second area is dedicated to exhibition areas related to very famous fantasy, sci-fi and horror films through a large display of original posters, film-related memorabilia, ornamental figurines, masks and collectibles.
The third area shows original costumes, storyboards and a tiny cinema room which tells about the birth of the shooting tools as we know them today and the multimedia desk offers the possibility to consult a film archive divided by decade.
In this very cinema room, they show the famous short film by the Lumiere brothers known as ‘The arrival of a train at Ciotat station’ and other films from the very first days of Cinema.
The exhibition invites the visitors to embark on a journey through precious and rare collections with display cases that make homage to the greatest fantastic sagas of cinematic imagery: from the legendary Star Wars to Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.
The ’small not-so-small’ museum even boast the original time machine used by Zemeckis in the film Back to the Future and also some costumes from the sets of Alien and Star Wars.
Children can take photos with real size Batman, Spiderman, Joker and other characters from hero films and there is even a small but faithful reproduction of the Batmobile to ride and take a photo on.

I particularly enjoyed the first room in which one can really see what cinema used to be in its early days and one can see all the colorful slides which were used to make a movie sequence.
I also enjoyed looking at the various movie playbills from the past which are very different from what they look like today.
There is also a very interesting section which aims at explaining the techniques behind special effects in fantasy films and horror films and which displays masks and make up commonly used in these kinds of films.


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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