Piemonte's long historic passion for art began in Torino in 1863, with the establishment of the GAM - the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, the first public collection of modern art in Italy. Today Torino is recognized as the capital of contemporary art with international events such as Artissima Fair and Contemporary Art Week, as well as Luci d'Artista (Artist Lights), the series of open-air installations by international artists that brighten the city winter with lights and colours. Torino is a widespread museum network, which gives a voice to a lively atmosphere of cultural ferment, with the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation and the Mario Merz Foundation, the MEF - Ettore Fico Museum and the impressive former railway workshop complex, OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni, today an avant-garde cultural centre, the Giovanni and Marella Agnelli Picture Gallery and Camera - - Italian Centre for Photography. A place of stimulating past and future contamination is the Castle of Rivoli, a UNESCO Royal Residence that houses an extraordinary permanent collection, as well as hosting exhibitions and a wealth of cultural and educational activities. Works and installations “interact” with the environment at the PAV (Living Art Park), an experimental contemporary art centre with an open-air exhibition site and interactive museum, and at the MAU (Museum of Urban Art).
Following an ideal art-mapping itinerary, the territory reveals a very rich heritage that ranges from the historical avant-gardes to contemporary artists. It is all accessible to the public thanks to numerous public and private foundations, such as the Castle of Rivara. On the route between Asti and Torino, this artists' residence welcomes illustrious names and emerging talents, hosts important exhibitions and is home to the Museum of Italian Art, a permanent collection of works, almost all of which were created on site since the 1980s. In Biella, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto Biella embodies the artistic manifesto, vision and community project of the Master of Arte Povera (Poor Art), Michelangelo Pistoletto.