one of the largest model railway in Europe

photographs by Massimo Pacifico

The HZERO museum complex was inaugurated in Florence on Sunday 29 May 2022 in the spaces of the former Ariston cinema (near Piazza Santa Maria Novella). A 280 square meter model railway in which 70 miniature trains in H0 scale (reduction ratio 1/87) of the manufacturers Märklin, Piko, Roco, cross Dolomite landscapes and run along the shores of a lake, land in large stations, find refuge in complex storage facilities. The original idea is due to Giuseppe Paternò Castello di San Giuliano, who began to set up the model, in another place, in 1972, in order to make it one of the largest in Europe. Today the Marquis Giuseppe is no longer with us, but his project sees the light in a spectacular guise: 280 square meters of landscape, 359 sections, almost a kilometer of tracks, over 1000 street lamps, 121 traffic lights, countless characters, 50 loudspeakers for the diffusion of noises, the alternation of day and night. The architectural project is by Luigi Fragola, supported by the FS Italiane Foundation, and curated by Alberto Salvadori. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm, closing on Tuesdays.

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