Air Force Museum
The Air Force Museum is in Bracciano, loc. Vigna di Valle.
The first aviation exhibition to be put on display in Italy was mounted in 1913 in Castel S. Angelo in Rome. In 1923 the Air Force had been established as one of the Italian Armed Forces. In 1939 the exhibition was located in Lungotevere delle Vittorie.
From 1950 onwards, the idea of setting up an Historical Aviation Museum surfaced again: as a result, the aviation material held by the Air Force was moved virtually entirely to the airport at Vigna di Valle where a centre for the collection of historical and scientific material relating to flight had already been set up.
Nowadays the Museum is located on the south shores of Lake Bracciano where in 1904 the first Experimental Aviation Yard was established, and where in 1908 the first Italian military airship, the N.1, was built.
The Museum is set amongst the buildings and structures of the seaplane base, today the only site of this kind where the typical architecture of an Aviation centre that evolved from the birth of aviation to the 1960’s are preserved intact.
In its 13,000 sq. it houses over sixty aircraft and a vast collection of engines as well as mementos of all types that tell, in chronological order, the history of military flying in Italyand of the men who lived it and shaped it.
The Air Force Museum tour winds through the various sectors dedicated to the Pioneers, the Airships, WWI, Nobile’s epic Polar Flights, the Great Flights in Mass Formation, the Schneider Trophy, the period between the wars, WWII and the post-war revival.