Filippo Juvarra

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La Venaria Reale

La Venaria Reale - Fountain
La Venaria Reale - View from the parkLa Venaria Reale - Diana's GalleryLa Venaria Reale - Church of St. Hubertus

The Palace of Venaria was the “hunting palace” of the Royal House of Savoy; it is located right outside Turin where the Savoy lived.

It was built at the end of the 17th century by Amedeo di Castellamonte; the name of the palace in latin means Royal Hunt.

Only few years after the Palace was erected a French invasion and the Siege of Turin heavily damaged the structure. When the Savoy regained their power the famous architect Filippo Juvarra was hired to restore it.

After Queen Elisabeth Therese died here in 1741 giving birth to a son the Palace was hardly used.

Under the Napoleonic dominion the Venaria became an army’s dormitory and its beautiful gardens were transformed into a training ground. The former Royal Palace was used also by the Italian Army until the end of the 20th century. Only in 1978 in fact it was bought by the Ministry of Culture and restored. It took 30 years but today it is finally possible to admire its splendor again; in 1997 the UNESCO included the Venaria Reale in the Heritage List.

Things to see

Visiting the Palace of Venaria you will immediately enter in the Honor Court where once was located a gorgeous fountain. The main facade is decorated with cornucopias and fruits following the style of the 17th century. The two beautiful towers covered in ceramic’s tiles were added by Michelangelo Garove at the beginning of the 18th century. The towers are connected by a gallery called the Galleria di Diana built by Javarra together with the lovely Church of St. Hubertus. It was impossible to build a dome for the Church so the architect ordered to frescoes one in trompe-l’oeil.

Nothing remains of the original gardens except for few drawings. Today is it possible to admire a beautiful park with modern art pieces by Giuseppe Pennone.

Royal Palace – Turin

Turin - Palazzo Reale - View
Turin - Palazzo RealeTurin - Palazzo Reale - GateTurin - Palazzo Reale - Facade

The Royal Palace of Turin was the residence of the Savoy Family for centuries.

Located in the central Piazza Castello the palace was built were once stood the Bishop’s Palace. The location was chosen for two reasons: to be close where the court met, and to monitor the two main entrances of Turin, the Palatine Gate and the Pretoria Gate.

Initially built during the 16th century it was remodeled during the regency of Christine Marie of France a century later. She hired the famous baroque architect Filippo Juvarra. He designed the gorgeous staircase called Scala delle Forbici.

Another important addition to the original palace was the construction of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud. The chapel was built in order to house the famous Shroud of Turin, property of the Savoy Family since 1453.

Things to see

The gate that surround the Palace is decorated with a Golden Medusa; the Medusa symbol was used to scare trespassers.

In 1946 after a referendum abolished the monarchy in Italy the Palace was converted into a museum. It was dedicated to the House of Savoy.

In 1997 the Royal Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Cathedral of St John the Baptist – Turin

Turin - Duomo - Exterior
Turin - Duomo - ParticularTurin - Duomo - InteriorTurin - Duomo - Cappella della Madonna

Turin’s Duomo is dedicated to St John the Baptist. The cathedral is dated back to the 15th century; it was built next to a Romanesque campanile.

 The famous Chapel of the Holy Shroud was added to the Duomo at the end of the 17th century in order to accommodate the Shroud of Turin, property of the Savoy Family since the 15th century.

The Duomo was built where once stood a Roman theater. Originally three churches were erected on the spot; however at the end of the 15th century they were demolished and the modern Cathedral was built.

The baroque architect Filippo Juvarra was hired to remodel the Duomo in order to create a space dedicated to the Shroud. He designed a chapel with an oval form and a new dome. However the Dome took almost three decades in order to be completed.

The Duomo is today considered one of the most popular Turin’s buildings; it is one of the few example of Renaissance art survived in the city. The beautiful white marble façade is a perfect example of this style.

Things to see

The interior is richly decorated thanks to the works of many artists of different periods. The beautiful Tribuna Reale, Royal Tribune, was designed by Simone Martinez during the 18th century for Carlo Emanuele III di Savoia.

A terrible fire heavily damaged the building in 1997; luckily the Shroud was saved by the firefighters. A renovation started immediately and a new case was built to display the Shroud.