The exhibition follows a chronological trail intertwined with in-depth analyses of particular themes and characters, also employing modern multimedia techniques.

First floor: the 18th century
The exhibition starts with the painting attributed to Giuseppe Comotto, the Genoese uprising of 1746, and the Balilla myth: a century later, this story took on a new symbolic value in the context of the national Risorgimento, with the invention of the figure of the Balilla, a heroic boy who on 5 December kicked off the insurrection against the Austrians. The exhibition continues with sections devoted to the Jacobin Republic (1797-1805), the annexation of Genoa to the French Empire (1805-1814) and the Kingdom of Sardinia (1815).

Second floor: The rooms of the apartment inhabited by the Mazzini family
The exhibition continues along the rooms of the apartment inhabited by the Mazzini family, with a section devoted to young Mazzini, from his first experiences in the Carbonari conspirational organisation to the Giovine Italia. Mazzini’s studio in the following room has been rebuilt with his desk and some of his objects, including the guitar he used to play during the long years of his exile.

Third floor:  Goffredo Mameli and the National Anthem
The hall on the third floor opens with the most precious manuscript of the collections of the Istituto Mazziniano: the first draft of the Italian anthem, Fratelli d’Italia, signed by Goffredo Mameli, with a section devoted to the Roman Republic (1849). Here unfolds a suggestive display on Giuseppe Garibaldi and the main events and characters of the expedition of the Thousand.
The second floor ends with the section titled “5 May 1915. The Monument to the Thousand between myth and propaganda”, documenting the troubled story of the monument in Quarto and its inauguration, through artistic and documentary evidence from the collections of the Istituto, including the plaster model of the monument by Eugenio Baroni and the autograph document of a prayer by Gabriele D’Annunzio

Here begins the last section of the exhibition: devoted to the Great War, it was opened in June 2014 and renovated in October 2015 with new works specially restored. It presents a selection of paintings, drawings, posters, photographs, archival documents, weapons and memorabilia. These collections began to form as early as the first months of the Italian entry into the war on the side of the Triple Entente: more precisely, in September 1915 the City agreed to the request of the Ministry of Education, through the President of the National Committee for the history of the Risorgimento, Paolo Boselli, to collect “all evidence and historical documents on the present war to accomplish the liberation of Italy”, entrusting the task to the Office of Fine Arts and History. It was then that these pieces started being exhibited in museums, mostly in the Istituto Mazziniano, albeit after a series of twists and turns following the Liberation.

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