Construction of the present Palazzo Reale began in 1618 for the Balbi family. From 1643-1655, work renewed under the direction of the architects Pier Francesco Cantone and Michele Moncino. In 1677, the palace was sold to the Durazzo Family, who enlarged the palace under the designs of Carlo Fontana.
In 1823, the palace was sold to the Royal House of Savoy. From 1919, the palace has belonged to the state.
The palace contains much original furniture and decoration. Frescoes inside include the Glory of the Balbi Family by Valerio Castello and Andrea Sghizzi, Spring changing slowly to Winter by Angelo Michele Colonna and Agostino Mitelli, and Jove establishes Justice on the Earth by Giovanni Battista Carlone. It also contains canvases by Bernardo Strozzi, il Grechetto, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Domenico Fiasella as well as Bassano, Tintoretto, Luca Giordano, Anthony van Dyck, Ferdinand Voet, and Guercino. It contains statuary by Filippo Parodi.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.