LA VENARIA REALE and LA MANDRIA NATURAL PARK
THE PALACE OF VENARIA
The Venaria Reale is a contemporary court open to all, which is proposed as a discovery of multiple experiences, a journey to the "Royal Palace of Italy" where, focusing on the enhancement of our historical, landscape and gastronomic heritage, you can find "royalty and pleasure of living ".
The Venaria Reale, a grandiose complex on the outskirts of Turin with 80,000 square meters of monumental building of the Royal Palace and 60 hectares of Gardens, assets adjacent to the seventeenth-century historic center of Venaria and the 3,000 fenced hectares of the Parco della Mandria, is a masterpiece of architecture and of the landscape; declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997 and opened to the public in 2007 after being the most important restoration site in Europe for cultural heritage.
The monumental building boasts some of the highest expressions of universal baroque: the enchanting scenery of the Diana Room designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the solemnity of the Galleria Grande and the Chapel of Sant'Uberto with the immense complex of the Juvarra Stables, eighteenth-century works by Filippo Juvarra, the sumptuous decorations, the spectacular Fontana del Cervo in the Court of Honor represent the ideal setting for the Theater of History and Magnificence, the exhibition path dedicated to the Savoy that accompanies the visitor along almost 2,000 meters, between the basement and noble floor of the Palace.
In the mid-17th century, Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy and Duchess Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy Nemours decided to build a new jewel to add to the crown of residences surrounding Turin. The task of designing a place for pleasure and hunting is assigned to the court architect Amedeo di Castellamonte. The project, of great visual impact, includes the palace, the park, the hunting woods and an entire village. The residence was born together with the Italian gardens and a play of sculptures, and then again: fountains, spectacular stairways and terraces on several levels, a high park on the floor of the building and a low park on the Peschiera floor. The entire composition is made unique by the perspective line that cuts through the village and continues into the heart of the Palace along the canal that connects the Fountain of Hercules to the Temple of Diana.
Starting in 1699, the architect Michelangelo Garove designed the palace complex again 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 infinity and a new breath, as the taste of the largest European court, Versailles, dictates. Meanwhile, the duke became king: in 1716 he entrusted the expansion project to Filippo Juvarra, who with his Galleria Grande, the Chapel of Sant’Uberto, the Citroniera and the Stable, brought the Palace to one of the masterpieces of the Baroque. In 1739 Carlo Emanuele III commissioned Benedetto Alfieri to give unity to the complex with a system of communication tunnels and service areas, including the stables and the covered riding school. The Royal Palace continued its court life during the reign of Vittorio Amedeo III and Carlo Emanuele IV, until the decline of the Ancient Regime.
THE GARDENS OF THE PALACES
The Gardens of the Palace have now become a close extraordinary union between ancient and modern, a virtuous dialogue between archaeological settlements and contemporary works. The monumental statue of the Hercules Colossus, originally positioned inside the Fountain of Hercules, dialogues with the works of well-known contemporary artists such as Giuseppe Penone and Giovanni Anselmo, all framed in an incomparable infinite vision that has no analogous counterparts. among the Italian gardens for the magnificence of the perspectives and the vastness of the natural landscape surrounded by the woods of the Parco della Mandria and the mountain range of the Alps.
In the Lower Park, the Garden of Fluid Sculptures by Giuseppe Penone extends for 500 meters, with 14 sculptures that mark a seamless path between the mineral, plant and human world. On the other hand, in the Alto Park, in the center of the Juvarrian Gran Parterre, the evocative installation by the artist Giovanni Anselmo: six granite slabs on which the inscription “Where the stars come a foot closer” is engraved.
The young Gardens of the Reggia di Venaria, inaugurated only in 2007, after the first adjustment phase, are entering, as a teenager, an important moment of their growth and evolution during which the elements begin to take shape in a more evident and defined way. characterizing and the "strength" of their design, testifying to a continuous natural transformation which in the panorama of the great European historical gardens represents a unique experience. Their visit can therefore be a pleasant surprise even for those who have already visited them in the past.
In addition to a simple walk or guided tours with specific educational itineraries, the Gardens can be explored in other fun ways, such as with the Freccia di Diana train, the gondola or the horse carriage.
The Gardens of the Reggia di Venaria are part of the network of the Great Italian Gardens.
THE CASTLE OF MANDRIA
Linked up to the nineteenth century to the destiny and history of the Reggia di Venaria, the Parco della Mandria and the Castle, the building located on an artificial hill called the "New Herd", is destined for the exclusive and private use of Vittorio Emanuele. II of Savoy as early as 1859.
To this end, the Parco della Mandria was completely walled up and the royal architects Barnaba Panizza and Domenico Ferri were commissioned to build and set up all the buildings that could allow the sovereign to practice his favorite activity, hunting.
On the façade of the Castle, the most important of the buildings present in the Park area, the rooms that still make up the beautiful Royal Apartments were created.
A perfect cross-section of the sovereign's choices and tastes, the over 20 rooms, open to the public, show the visitor all the charm of a great protagonist of the Italian Risorgimento who shared part of his private life, right at the Castello della Mandria, with his morganatic wife. Rosa Vercellana (called la Bela Rosin) named countess of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda.
The Royal Apartments have arrived to date fully furnished with precious artifacts, works of art, fabrics, furnishings and furnishings from the ancient Savoyard collections that allow, during the visit, to fully enjoy the taste of the first king of Italy. .
With the death of the sovereign, the park, the castle complex and all the hunting reposoirs were purchased between 1882 and 1887 by the Medici del Vascello family. With them, the history of the territory experienced a new phase of development until 1976 when the Piedmont Region acquired the entire environmental and architectural heritage of the Park, establishing in 1978 the Management Body of the La Mandria Regional Park.
Since 1997 the Castello della Mandria, together with all the other Piedmontese Savoy residences, has been a World Heritage Site (Unesco).
LA MANDRIA NATURAL PARK
"Mandria": it was in this area that in 1713 a horse farm was established for the Sardinian Army and as a consequence it took the name that the Park still bears today.
In the course of a little over a century, the necessary infrastructures relevant to the strengthening of horse breeding were added to the main building - which later became the "Castle".
Only in the second half of the 19th century, the Mandria assumed the configuration, still substantially present today, of a large hunting reserve: subsequent acquisitions made by the King Vittorio Emanule II, led to the obtaining of a single vast area of about 3,000 hectares completely surrounded by an enclosure wall high enough to protect the game, thus defining the boundaries of the "Herd". At the same time the main building was enlarged to give new impetus to equine reproduction, reforestation was taken care of by reducing agricultural crops and eliminating some farmhouses, and artificial lakes, networks of internal roads and hunting routes were created.
Even today, with its 3,000 hectares, the Park represents the largest enclosed environment with protected meadows and forests in Europe in which numerous species of wild and domestic animals live freely in its meadows and forests: deer, foxes, herons, squirrels , wild boars and horses.
In the Parco della Mandria there is a remarkable historical-architectural heritage with the Castello della Mandria (the hunting lodge of Vittorio Emanuele II and Bella Rosina), the Villa dei Laghi, the Bizzarria, the numerous period farmhouses, the remains of a medieval shelter and more.
Together with the Palace and the Gardens of Venaria, you can visit the incomparable natural space of the Parco della Mandria with a rich program of activities and combined itineraries (including by train and bus).