Royal Residences

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Savoy Dynasty was to surround itself with a range of residences designed by the top architects of the period, home to court life and confirmation of the authority acquired: palaces and places of pleasure and entertainment along the rivers, on the hills and in the surrounding country gave rise to what is known as the “Crown of Delights”. For centuries the centre of Torino was the heart of the House of Savoy’s political power and therefore the “Palaces of Power” can be found close to each other: Royal Palace, Madama Palace and Carignano Palace

Court life also consisted of entertainment, parties and ceremonies in the residences surrounding the city. Nestled in the heart of the park of the same name, and extended by Christine of France in the transalpine taste reminiscent of Loire castles, Valentino Castle now houses the Faculty of Architecture of Torino Polytechnic. At the lower part of the hill, Villa della Regina started out as a “vineyard” in the centre of the Italianate gardens with pavilions, fountains and agricultural areas. Designed as a hunting lodge for

Charles Emmanuel II, the famous Reggia of Venaria was at the centre of one of the largest restoration projects of all time and is used for exhibitions, concerts and major events. Also the Stupinigi Hunting Lodge – where Napoleon was a guest for a while – was a favourite of the House of Savoy as a place of loisir and the art of hunting.

Lastly, devotion: everywhere the religiosity of the House of Savoy emerges in the building and extending of churches and sanctuaries. The main example is the Basilica of Superga, a baroque gem overlooking the city and housing the Savoy Royal Tombs underground: from its viewing point is the beautiful panorama that Rousseau called “the most beautiful sight that the human eye can behold”.