The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale, one of the Savoy Residences part of the UNESCO serial site, was commissioned by Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy and designed by the architect Amedeo di Castellamonte. Among the most visited museum sites in Italy in 2019 the Reggia garden was elected "The most beautiful public park" in Italy.
La Venaria Reale History
The Reggia di Venaria is among the largest and most beautiful Savoy residences and since 1997 has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The task of designing a place for pleasure and hunting is assigned to the court architect Amedeo di Castellamonte by Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy. The project, of great scenographic impact, includes the palace, the park, the hunting woods and an entire village. The residence was born together with the Italian gardens and a game of sculptures, and then again: fountains, spectacular stairways and terraces on several levels, a high park on the palace floor and a low park on the Peschiera floor. The entire composition is made unique by the perspective line that cuts through the Borgo and continues in the heart of the Palace along the canal that connects the Fountain of Hercules to the Temple of Diana.
Starting from 1699, the architect Michelangelo Garove redesigned the complex of the Reggia to give it a more grandiose character, according to the ambitions of Vittorio Amedeo II. The Gardens are completely redesigned in the French style, with open perspectives on the infinite and a new breath, as the taste of the largest European court, Versailles dictates.
Further damage was inflicted during the Siege of Turin in 1706, when the French of Louis d'Aubusson de la Feuillade took up residence there, damaging many structures intended, in this period, for the soldier: Vittorio Amedeo II, given the death of Garove, entrusts the project to Filippo Juvarra who builds structures such as the Scuderia and the church of Sant'Uberto.
Meanwhile, the Duke becomes king: in 1716 he entrusts the expansion project to Filippo Juvarra, who with his Galleria Grande, the Chapel of Saint Hubert, the Citroniera and the Stable, brings the Reggia among the Baroque masterpieces. In 1739 Carlo Emanuele III commissioned Benedetto Alfieri to give unity to the complex with a system of communication galleries and service areas, including the stables and the covered riding stable. The Royal Palace continued its court life during the reign of Vittorio Amedeo III and Carlo Emanuele IV, until the decline of the Old Regime.
In 1739, three years after Juvarra's death, Carlo Emanuele III entrusted Benedetto Alfieri with the task of expanding the Stable and creating communication galleries inside the complex.
Even in the Napoleonic domination the palace underwent serious transformations, in particular the gardens, destroyed to make it a parade ground: in fact, the whole complex was transformed into a barracks and, with the Restoration, this destination was maintained. The complex was also confirmed as the nerve center of the Savoy Cavalry, hosting, among other things, a European prestigious military riding school (within which innovative methods of riding, fighting, bundling) and a stud farm . In the period from the end of the Napoleonic wars until 1978 the palace was used for military purposes causing a progressive degradation.
In 1998 the imposing restoration work began with the release of national and European funds. The works, equal to an expenditure of over 280 million euros, concern an area of 250,000 m² of buildings and 800,000 m² of uncultivated areas transformed into gardens following the original plans. The opening of the complex took place on October 13, 2007.
The complex, which includes the palace, is made up of approximately 80,000 sq m of land and includes the park and the historic village of Venaria. The gardens of the palace were lost because of Napoleon's French who turned them into a parade ground. Only later were the restoration works of the surrounding natural environment resumed. Since 2007, after eight years of restoration, the magnificent gardens of the complex of the palace of Venaria represent the flagship of this magnificent construction with the spaces of the English Gardens, that of the Flowers and Roses, and the area of the groves , so much so that in 2019 the XVIII edition of the competition is the most beautiful park in Italy.