Castle of Rivoli

Turin, Italy

The Castle of Rivoli is a former Residence of the Royal House of Savoy in Rivoli near Turin. It is currently home to the Castello di Rivoli – Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, the museum of contemporary art of Turin.

In 1997, it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list along with 13 other residences of the House of Savoy.

The castle was probably built in the 9th–10th centuries. Its existence is mentioned for the first time in 1159. The House of Savoy acquired Rivoli in the 11th century. Soon afterward, a feud began with the bishops, which in 1184 resulted in damage to the castle. In 1273 King Edward I of England visited, en route from Crusade to England, he was met by the Count of Savoy's messengers before travelling on to Susa and the Mont Cenis on the way to visit Count Philip I at Saint-Georges-d'Espéranche. In 1330 Amadeus VI of Savoy allowed the Consiglio dei Principi, senior administrative council of the countryside to occupy it. The castle was the first place of public veneration of the Shroud of Turin.

The castle then experienced a period of decline. In 1559, the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis forbade the Duke Emmanuel Philibert from residing in Turin until he had a male child. He therefore resided in the Castle of Rivoli, having it restored by architect Ascanio Vitozzi. In 1562 heir Charles Emmanuel I was born, and he returned to Turin. Works on Vitozzi's designs were brought on until 1644 under Carlo and Amedeo di Castellamonte, with the construction of the so-called Manica Lunga, intended to house the Savoy Gallery, the sole 17th-century part of the edifice still visible today. Numerous works of art were however stolen by French troops in the following years. New works began after 1706.

Victor Amadeus II commissioned a new façade from Filippo Juvarra, which also went unfinished. After his abdication and failed attempt to regain power from his son Charles Emmanuel III, Victor Amadeus lived here as a prisoner with his morganatic spouse the Marchesa di Spigno. After his death, the castle remained mostly abandoned, until in 1863, when the comune of Rivoli turned it into barracks. Twenty years later a section was used as library.

The edifice was heavily damaged during World War II, and remained in a substantial state of abandon until 1979, when new works of restoration were begun. In 1984 the castle was reopened as the home of the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, the first contemporary art museum in Italy.


Since its launch, Castello di Rivoli has presented an ongoing programme within its Baroque architecture and offsite, including solo shows, special commissions as well as group exhibitions featuring important Italian and International contemporary artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as: 

The Permanent Collection documents crucial moments in the development of contemporary art in Italy and abroad, from the mid-1960s to the latest currents. It sits at the heart of the Museum activities and includes large permanent installations produced specially for the rooms of the historic Royal Residence. It comprises some of the most significant Arte Povera works by artists such as Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto; seminal pieces by contemporary Italian artists such as Maurizio Cattelan; as well as important works from the Transavanguardia, Land Art, and artworks reflecting the latest contemporary international expressions.

In 2017, Castello di Rivoli announced the acquisition of the Cerruti art collection, estimated to be valued at $570 million. Among the works collected by Federico Cerruti are paintings by Francis Bacon, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Wassily Kandinsky, and Andy Warhol.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Monica Prampolini (15 months ago)
Interesting place and collection. Architecture and historical value far more attractive than the collection in lu advice. Worth visiting and nice place to visit including the San Grato Park all around
Shailesh Srivastava (19 months ago)
Great place to visit with family or friends. Bike ride to there is awesome.
jacques coulavin (2 years ago)
A museum for lovers of conceptual and contemporary art. Exhibitions change regularly so it is different each time. The most enjoyable to me is the building itself and the location! Be sure to enjoy a relaxing moment at the cafeteria. ? to the Panini, all different varieties.
K-Riddim A (2 years ago)
Nice place. Amazing Castel Weird exhib I found it strange to visit and having the guardians following you like dogs and telling you how to handle your bag (not on the back but with the hand). What I dislike is the fact that they tell that to me and my teenagers but not other people! Let me enjoy the place quietly and learn how to welcome tourists !!! ?
Roger Rofes (3 years ago)
If you are in Turin and like contemporary art don't miss this museum off the beaten track!
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