Palazzo Madama

Turin, Italy

Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja is a palace in Turin, Piedmont. It was the first Senate of the Kingdom of Italy, and takes its traditional name from the embellishments it received under two queens (madama) of the House of Savoy. In 1997, it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list along with 13 other residences of the House of Savoy.

At the beginning of the first century BC, the site of the palace was occupied by a gate in the Roman walls. Two of the towers, although restored, still testify to this original nucleus. Later the building became a possession of the Savoia-Acaja, a secondary branch of the House of Savoy; in the early 14th century, they enlarged it into a castle. A century later Ludovico of Acaja rebuilt it in square shape, with an inner court and a portico, and four cylindrical towers at each corner. The form of this edifice is still clearly recognisable from the back section of the palace. After the extinction of the Acajas, the edifice became a residence for guests of the house of Savoy.

In 1637 the regent for Duke Charles Emmanuel II, Christine of France (aunt of Louis XIV), chose it as her personal residence. She commissioned the covering of the court and a revamping of the inner apartments. Sixty years later another regent, Marie Jeanne of Savoy, who was known as Madama Reale, lived in the palace. She conferred upon it definitively the nickname of Madama (Italian for Madame). She invited many artists to renovate the building which the duchess wanted to turn into a sumptuous royal palace.

Later the palace had various uses, and housed the headquarters of the provisional French government during the Napoleonic Wars. In the 19th century King Charles Albert selected it as seat of the Pinacoteca Regia, the royal art gallery, and, later, of the Subalpine Senate (the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia) and of the High Court. Since 1934 it has housed to the City Museum of Ancient Art.

Museum of Ancient Art

The Palazzo Madama houses the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. Despite its name, it is a large collection of paintings, statues, church ornaments, porcelain, and decorative art, mostly from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century.



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Piazza Castello 2, Turin, Italy
See all sites in Turin


Founded: 14th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iya U (12 months ago)
Well organized museum space with lots of interesting exhibitions and collections. Do not forget to climb the observation tower and enjoy a drink in a pictures coffee-bar with nice view and decorations.
Michael Coult (13 months ago)
Great exhibition, i feel like the language accessibility could be worked on a little hence my average rating. I went to the Egypt museum and they had a QR code with a voice tour of all the important exhibits in multiple languages.
Rc E (16 months ago)
A rather random collection of artifacts, few of which are high quality examples. Some of the rooms of the building are interesting and attractive and the medieval gardens are a nice touch. There are a lot of stairs so a visit is not for those who have nobility issues. The cafe was disappointing. Self service from a machine!
Sandeep Kumar (22 months ago)
MUST VISIT MUSEUM IN TORINO !! Beautiful museum with full of architectural beauty and a glimpse of royal lifestyle during medieval times. They have a wide collection of paintings and excavations. Also, one can find a really beautiful gallery of armory with beautiful decorations of paintings on walls and ceilings.
Andrew Salmon (23 months ago)
The 3rd floor ceramics and view from the top are my pic. Dont miss the staircade. The medieval floor is also good to understand Torino. The baroque floor has many fine things to see. Don't be discouraged by the wall filler paintings. More English language labels would have helped me.
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