Villa della Regina

Turin, Italy

The Villa della Regina is a palace in the city of Turin, Piedmont. It was originally built by the House of Savoy in the 17th century. In 1997, it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list along with 13 other residences of the House of Savoy.

The original structure was designed in early 1615 by the Italian soldier, architect and military engineer, Ascanio Vitozzi. When he died in 1615, the project passed to his collaborators, father and son Carlo and Amedeo di Castellamonte. The original building was built for the Prince-Cardinal Maurice of Savoy during the reign of his brother Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy. The property was built as a private villa with its own vineyard, hence its alternative name of Vigna di Madama. In 1637 Cardinal Maurice lost his brother and his sister in law Christine Marie of France became Regent of Savoy for her young son, Carlo Emanuele II of Savoye.

Prince Maurice of Savoy and his brother Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano opposed the Regency and fled to Spain. Following his return to Turin, Maurice died at the Villa in 1657 and willed it to his wife Louise Christine of Savoy who also died there in 1692. At the death of Louise Christine, it passed to Anne Marie d'Orléans, niece of Louis XIV of France wife Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy in 1684.

She used the Vigna when she could. Most of the present décor of the Vigna is from her lifetime. Her husband was the King of Sicily from 1713 until 1720, when he exchanged Sicily with Sardinia. From then on, the building was known as Villa della Regina ('Villa of the Queen'). It was here Anne Marie died in 1728. Anne Marie's eldest daughter Maria Adelaide came here and tried to recreate it at Versailles at the Ménagerie.

Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg, daughter in law of Anne Marie, did some work in the main saloon of the building when she became the owner of the villa in 1728 at the death of Anne Marie.

Inside there are frescoes and paintings by Giovanni Battista Crosato, Daniel Seyter and Corrado Giaquinto in the main room, grotesques of Filippo Minei and paintings by the brothers Domenico and Giuseppe Valeriani in the near rooms; there are also precious Chinese Cabinets in lacquer and golden wood. In the park there is the Pavilion of the Solinghi, pagoda building in which the Academy of the Solinghi used to meet; it was a group of intellectuals founded by the Cardinal Maurice.

The Villa was later used by the Spanish Queen of Sardinia Maria Antonietta Ferdinanda. It remained the property of the House of Savoy until 1868 when it was donated by Victor Emmanuel II of Italy to the Institute of the Army's Daughters and in 1994 it was given to the State domain.

Damaged in the Second World War, it is today open to the public in order to fund its maintenance.

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Details

Founded: 1615
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Spencer Hawken (2 years ago)
Wonderful venue up a steep hill on the left explored side of the river in Turin. The house has obviously fallen into much disrepair over the years and is open to the public to raise funds for the mammoth task of preserving it, in years to come this will be a stunning venue. Visit, respect it and help the people that work here to preserve the building.
Rc E (2 years ago)
The building, it's setting and the grounds are stunning. The rooms have been reconstructed in innovative ways. Some of the wall painting is outstanding. The rooms weren't crowded and you can take as long as you want. Helpfully, the information boards are in english as well as italian. A few small negatives. You can't pay for your ticket by card and they didn't wait to accept my 20 euro note. There is a small self service cafe area, but it's on the way in and didn't appear to be accessible again. The park is a taxing walk in the height of summer (with amazing views of Turin) but there is absolutely no where to sit and rest. Still, well work a visit!
Sarah Zerafa (2 years ago)
The house was badly bombed during the war and it was also used as a school. So the interior is not as majestically decorated however it's still very lovely. The gardens however are the real star of the show, gorgeous with amazing views.
Alasdair MacDonald (2 years ago)
Absolutely lovely villa to visit on the outskirts of Turin. So well restored, lots of rooms to see and really good information in each room. Lovely house and gardens to wander around in and there are some amazing views over the city of Turin. Good to visit if you are a fan of the Italian Job too ?
Hiren Nisar (2 years ago)
Pretty nice views and great to walk around. Free entry as well. Only issue is that there is no wheel chair access or for strollers
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