Palace of Venaria Reale: some curiosities

Venaria Reale Torino

The Reggia di Venaria Reale, one of the most fascinating and impressive Savoy residences, is located in the heart of Piedmont, a short distance from the city of Turin. This extraordinary complex is a must-see for anyone visiting the region, not only for its architectural beauty but also for the historical wealth it holds. For those wishing to explore all of Piedmont’s royal residences, there is a tourist pass available that facilitates access to these historic sites (you can find it at the end of this post), ensuring a complete experience among historic and central palaces, sumptuous residences, and vacation spots.

What to see at the Palace of Venaria Reale

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Palace of Venaria was originally conceived as a place of hunting and leisure for the nobility. The palace, a magnificent example of European Baroque, is a vast complex with attractions that deserve to be carefully discovered. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the palace was originally conceived as a hunting lodge and today enchants with its extensive and meticulously manicured French-style gardens, which can be explored comfortably by a dedicated little train that makes the tour in about half an hour. Inside, the Grand Gallery and the Hall of Diana are two of the most spectacular rooms: the Grand Gallery is a majestic corridor that leaves one breathless with its elegance, while the Hall of Diana, with its large windows, affords unparalleled views of the residence’s gardens.

Some interesting facts about the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale

There are so many spaces in the Venaria Palace, and I find the audio guide very useful: in fact, this tool gives many trivia about the lives of the royals that make the visit smoother. In general, the tour is well organized to keep the attention and even with children it is quite doable.
Here are 5 interesting facts about the Palace of Venaria Reale that will make you want to visit it even more.

  1. An original digital tour: one of the most modern attractions inside the palace is the digital installation created by renowned director Peter Greenaway, who also dedicated a film to a Rembrandt masterpiece. This installation allows visitors to see the palace not only in its current state, but also to reimagine it in its past splendor. With the help of projections, vivid characters, played by Italian celebrities such as Luciana Littizzetto and Giuseppe Battiston, come to life in the halls, offering an immersive and dynamic experience.
  2. A royal vegetable garden: not everyone knows that the vast park of the palace is home to an extensive vegetable garden and orchard in a part of about 10 hectares that dates back to the 1800s. This is an area that is not only beautiful but also functional: it still provides produce as it did centuries ago for the royal table, preserving varieties of native plants.
  3. Ships and carriages: the baroque Scuderie Juvarriane, designed by architect Filippo Juvarra, who also created the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, houses a historically impressive collection of carriages and ships. Here, fans of the genre can, for example, admire the bucintoro, a very elegant parade boat made in Venice by Victor Amadeus II in the first half of the 1700s. Undoubtedly, it also thrills to walk a stone’s throw from the carriages that have transported royalty and historical figures: in fact, among them is a vehicle used by Napoleon.
  4. Rich calendar of events: the palace is not just a museum, but a lively cultural center that hosts a variety of events all year round. From concerts and exhibitions to readings and art installations, there is always something new to discover. During the summer months in July and August, evening tours become a highlight, offering a cool retreat from the city and allowing visitors to explore the palace in a completely different light.
  5. Venaria Express Bus: To reach the palace from Turin, don’t complicate your life searching for routes and connections. There is a direct means of transportation that takes you from the city center to the Reggia di Venaria: it is the Venaria Express bus, which also reaches La Mandria Park. My advice, if you are staying downtown, is to take it from Piazza Castello, from the stop that is right in the middle of the square. During the week, the trip is the same price as an ordinary bus ticket.

Whether you are an archaeology enthusiast, art lover, or movie buff, the Savoy city has palaces and attractions for all tastes. The Reggia di Venaria Reale, in fact, is just one of the many museums that Turin and its surroundings have to offer.

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