The Gardens of the Reggia, with their archeological remains and contemporary artworks, bring together ancient and modern charm. The views that open up far into the distance are unparalleled among Italian gardens for the majesty of the scenarios and the vastness of the surrounding natural scenery that extends from the thick forests of the Park of La Mandria to the mountain peaks of the Alps.
The young Gardens of Venaria were inaugurated in 2007 and – like a teenager entering a crucial phase of life – their distinctive features are starting to show in their layout as nature evolves over time, offering a unique example of historical gardens in Europe. A tour of the Gardens is full of surprises, even if you have been here before.
Visitors coming to the Gardens for a stroll or a thematic guided tour can also participate in the activities that are organised regularly in the Gardens.
Diana’s Arrow, a trackless train, takes visitors across the Lower Park and its evocative natural settings, all the way to the remains of the Temple of Diana. To enjoy the Gardens from a different point of view, you can also sail on the Great Pond on the gondola of the Reggia – an activity that was fashionable in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the typical Venetian boat was a staple at all riverside court residences. The Gardens and the Upper Park in particular can also be visited on a horse-drawn carriage.
It is astounding to think that at the turn of the century the Gardens of Venaria were so badly damaged as to prevent even the perception of their original 17th-18th century layout.
The original gardens of the residence are now totally disappeared, since French troops turned them into training grounds. Earlier drawings show an Italian garden with three terraces connected by elaborate stairways and architectural features such as a clock tower in the first court, the fountain of Hercules, a theater and parterres.
Recent works have recreated a park in modern style, exhibiting modern works by Giuseppe Penone, including a fake 12 m-high cedar housing the thermic discharges of the palace.
In 2019 the Venaria gardens were awarded the 17th edition of the Most Beautiful Park in Italy competition (“public parks” category).
La Venaria Reale, a grandiose estate just outside Turin, is a large permanent cultural project that oﬀers opportunities for cultural knowledge and entertainment. In comprises 80,000 square meters of floor surface in the Reggia and 60 hectares of Gardens, adjacent to the 17th century ancient village of Venaria and the 3,000 fenced hectares of the Park of La Mandria. It is a natural and architectural masterpiece that was declared part of the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997. It reopened to the public in 2007 after completing the EU’s largest cultural restoration project to date.
The monumental palace, is home to some of the ﬁnest examples of universal Baroque: the enchanting Hall of Diana designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the breathtaking Great Gallery and the solemn Church of St. Hubert, the grandiose complex of the Juvarra Stables designed by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century, the sumptuous decorations, the famous Bucentaur and the spectacular Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor.
These provide a unique setting for the Theater of History and Magniﬁcence, the permanent display, almost 2,000 m long, devoted to the House of Savoy, that spans from the basement level to the piano nobile of the Reggia.
The Castle of La Mandria
Surrounded by the lush greenery of the Park of La Mandria, the royal apartments of the Borgo Castello provide a fascinating connection between the natural environment and the Reggia. Bound to the destiny and the history of the Reggia di Venaria until the 19th century, the Castle of La Mandria became the personal retreat of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy in 1859.
The beautiful Royal Apartments that are visible today were built in front of the Castle, which was the most significant building present in the Park.
The apartments consist of 20 rooms that offer insights into the choices and the tastes of the king. Now open to the public, they paint an intriguing portrait of this charismatic figure of the Italian Risorgimento. It was at the Castle of La Mandria that the king spent part of his personal life with his morganatic wife, Rosa Vercellana (known as “Bela Rosin”), who was made Countess of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda.
The Royal Apartments are fully furbished and contain precious objects, artworks, textiles, furniture and furnishings from ancient Savoy collections that allow visitors to appreciate the taste of the first king of Italy.
The Park of La Mandria
The Park, that covers an area of 3,000 hectares, is the largest fenced nature preserve in Europe. Visiting the Reggia and the Gardens, to explore the extraordinary natural reserve of the Park of La Mandria and take advantage of a rich program of joint activities also by train and by bus.
In collaboration with Regione Piemonte, Parco Naturale La Mandria – Ente di Gestione delle Aree Protette dell’Area Metropolitana di Torino.
Cafes at the Royal Gardens
The Reggia di Venaria is an ideal location to organize special events: book or plan an aperitif, a cocktail party, a mid-afternoon snack or a wonderful dinner in this magical place for a unique and inspiring experience.
Dolce Stil Novo
Dolce Stil Novo is a one-star Michelin restaurant located on the Reggia di Venaria’s top floor, offering a glorious view from the terrace of its Belvedere – the perfect setting to enjoy the extraordinary cuisine of the chef Alfredo Russo. Access from piazza della Repubblica.
Caffè degli Argenti
This elegant café located inside the Reggia, in the ancient Chinese rooms, offers an outstanding view of the Grand Parterre and the Alps from its panoramic balcony. It is the ideal setting to indulge in some local delicacies: paninis, sandwiches, ice-creams, fruit jams, cakes and products from the Potager Royal. Access from the permanent display of the Reggia and from the Gardens.
Patio dei Giardini (Garden House)
The Patio dei Giardini Restaurant Café, located in the peacefulness of the gardens near the Great Pond and the Fountain of Hercules, is the perfect stop for lunch or a snack. Here you can taste the organic products grown in the Reggia’s gardens and orchards and local delicacies. And remember to step out on the new terrace facing out onto the grove to enjoy a spectacular view of the Pond and the peaks of the Alps in the distance.
Gelateria delle Rose (Rose Summerhouse)
In spring and summer, the shade of the pergolas in the Rose Garden becomes the ideal place for a break, indulging in an ice-cream or sipping a cold drink surrounded by the delicate scent of flowers. Have a picnic here with your children and enjoy the performances and shows that are organised on weekends.
Royal Palace of Venaria
Reggia di Venaria Reale is a former royal residence and gardens located in Venaria Reale, near Turin in the Metropolitan City of Turin of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. With 80,000m² in palace area and over 950.000m² in premises, it is one the largest palaces in the world. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997.
Restored to the baroque magnificence to which it was inspired in the mid-1600s by Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy, the Reggia di Venaria is once again a symbol of modernity and culture. Since its opening in 2007, after two centuries of neglect and decay and eight intense years of restoration, La Venaria Reale has become one of Italy’s five most visited cultural sites.
The monumental palace is home to some of the finest examples of universal Baroque: the Hall of Diana designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the Great Gallery and the Church of St. Hubert, the grandiose complex of the Juvarra Stables designed by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century, the sumptuous decorations and spectacular Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor are the ideal setting for the Theatre of History and Magnificence, the permanent display devoted to the House of Savoy that takes the visitor down a path that is almost 2,000 m long, from the basement level to the piano nobile of the Reggia.
Seen from above, the Reggia and the Gardens cover a surface of 950,000 square meters of unencumbered architecture and parkland. They lie at the heart of a vast estate that is made up of the Juvarra Stables (a 5,000 sq.m. exhibition centre in the Citroniera and the Great Stables); the Conservation and Restoration Center ( housed in the former Alfieri Stables); the Old Town Center, the Borgo Castello and Cascina Rubbianetta (today home to the prestigious International Horse Center) set among the woods and castles that dot the 6,500 hectares of greenery in the nearby Park of La Mandria.
The Gardens appear today as a perfectly balanced combination of ancient and modern elements, in a boundless scenario where archaeological findings and contemporary artworks dialogue in harmony. A complex restoration project has led, over a period of eight years, to the reconstruction of the landscape and its historical landmarks that also took into account modern aesthetics and contemporary needs with important art works by the contemporary masters Giuseppe Penone and Giovanni Anselmo.