Turin had a huge importance in the Italian Unification process, being Italy’s first capital city between 1861 and 1865.
And the vestiges of the Savoy dinasty (the royal family of the united Italy) are well worth a visit.
I gioielli di casa Savoia: the Savoy jewels in Piedmont
Turin and its surroundings are home of beautiful historic residences related to i Savoia, the Savoy dinasty.
Not only queens: Palazzo Madama in Turin
The Palazzo Madama has been the first seat of the Kingdom of Italy’s Senate and earlier it hosted to “madame” of the Savoy house: Christine Marie of France in 1637 and Marie Jeanne of Savoy in the early XVIII Century.
Palazzo Madama hosts the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica. The Civic Museum of Ancient Art is, literally, “older than Italy” (it has been founded in 1860) and it holds more than 60 thousand works of painting, sculpture and decorative arts dated between the Byzantine period and the XIX Century.
Even more queens: Villa della Regina
A beautiful tree – lined avenue is the gate to the Queen’s Villa, a Unesco world heritage site.
Designed in 1615, Villa della Regina had been Anne Marie d’Orléans, King of Sicily’s wife, residence between 1684 and her death in 1728.
Villa della Regina is a “little Versailles”, with a vineyard, fountains and rich frescoes inside.
Game of king, game for king: the Stupinigi Palazzina di Caccia
The Hunting Palace in Stupinigi, earlier a village, now a Turin suburb, is another beautiful Savoy’s palace with an amazing park.
The whole Palazzina, with the huge peculiar stag statue on its dome, resounds of the Mel Brooks’ meme it’s good to be the king!
The halls are richly decorated, the Chinese cabinet and the hall of mirrors remind us the opulence of the Louis XIV age or of the Belle Epoque. Even the beautiful and powerful Paolina Bonaparte appreciated the Palazzina, living there around 1808: her marble bath with imperial eagles decoration is one of the many memorabilia of the Palazzina’s golden age.