A few kilometers from Turin you will come across the town of Venaria, which houses one of the main symbols of Piedmontese history, the Reggia di Venaria Reale. Built in the second half of the seventeenth century, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as one of the most visited museum sites in Italy.
Turin played a central role in Italian history, first as the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and then as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The Reggia is one of the works that best testifies to this long past, in places where the wonders of architecture have as a backdrop the majesty of the Alps.
Reggia di Venaria Reale: from the 17th century to today
The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale is one of the ancient residences of the Savoy family, erected some centuries before their rise to monarchy. The main proponent of the palace was the Duke of Savoy Charles Emmanuel II, who despite himself could not see the end of the work. The architect Amedeo di Castellamonte was responsible for the project, and he has created for the Savoy several well-known architectural works, starting with the Royal Palace.
The project from the beginning was that of a palace destined to become a residence for the then ducal family. The area was renamed “Venaria”, a toponym that still remains today, because in that place we would be dedicated to hunting activities. Construction work began officially in 1659, and ended in 1679.
The Reggia di Venaria Reale we know today has many differences from the original design. Over the centuries the structure has suffered several damages, and there have been attempts to enlarge. Among the architects who worked at the Palace we remember Filippo Juvarra and Benedetto Alfieri. The first was responsible for the completion of the Galleria Grande and the construction of the chapel of Sant’Uberto, while the second completed several works, including the complete reconstruction of the Clock Tower.
The Napoleonic era marked the beginning of a slow decline for the Reggia, which was converted into a military residence for the Savoys. The military garrison remained inside the Royal Palace of Venaria until the mid-twentieth century. Since the 1940s it has been undergoing a period of neglect, followed by a major restoration, which began in the late 1990s. The restoration work lasted eight years, during which the palace returned to its former glory.
The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale is considered one of the greatest expressions of the European and Italian Baroque. Thanks to the restoration it is now possible to fully visit the palace, which has often become the center of exclusive exhibitions and exhibitions. In this way in addition to the Palace you have the opportunity to live other artistic and cultural experiences, able to transport the tourist in distant places in time and space.
Among the most famous spaces, the Diana Room stands out. Located in the homonymous palace, it celebrates the goddess of hunting with numerous frescoes, including the one in which Jupiter gives Diana the dominion over hunting activities.
During your visit you can not miss a passage inside the Galleria Grande, formerly known as the Galleria di Diana. It has a height of 15 meters, with a length of 73 meters and a width of 11 meters. Both the vault and the walls are finely decorated.
The main place of worship of the Reggia is the Church of Sant’Uberto. The marble altar is in full baroque style, as well as the balconies that allow you to look out over the central nave.
Finally, we cannot forget the Juvarrian Stables, named after the architect Filippo Juvarra. The area is divided into Scuderia Grande and Citroniera. The imposing Scuderie Juvarriane is one of the characteristics that has made this architectural work one of the highest expressions of European Baroque.
A stone’s throw from Turin
The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale is easily accessible from Turin, so tourists who are visiting the city could take the opportunity to expand their tour including the Royal Palace. To enter, an entrance ticket is required, the cost of which varies depending on the services included.
The journey is very simple. For those who travel by car the fastest route is the northern ring road, where there are the exits Venaria and Savonera/ Venaria. By bus there is a dedicated line with the name of Venaria Express, which leaves from Porta Susa every day, except Monday. Alternatively you can take the lines GTT VE1, SF2 and 11. With the train in the line Turin Dora – Ceres we find the stop Venaria.
Staying in Turin could be the best solution. The city is very lively, both in terms of cultural and social activities. There is no shortage of fairs or events of various kinds, including concerts by national and international artists. For lovers of gastronomy is the perfect opportunity to try some typical foods, including the famous agnolotti, appreciated by those who love pasta, and the soft and tasty veal tonnato, ideal for those who want to taste excellent meat.
Autore articolo : Andrea Prosperi