The Palace of Venaria Reale
The Savoy princes liked to hunt in the estate surrounding the Palace of Venaria, near Turin. In the tradition of ‘chasse à courre’, they would send their hounds chasing after a stag in the moorland: “truely a pastime for great men, and fit for one living in Court”, according to the definition given by Baldassarre Castiglione in his “The Courtier”. “A serious affair”, according to philosopher Ernst Jünger, “the archetypal form of the great game of ‘capturing and hiding’”.
Be that as it may, the courtier’s, archetypal “game” of hunting is at the roots of this spectacular Savoy residence – down to its very name, as “Venaria” comes from the Latin ‘venari’, meaning “to hunt”.
Commissioned as a base for this princely pastime, by Charles Emmanuel II in the middle of the XVII century, the royal residence is now included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The monumental building – the palace is approximately 110,000 square meters, and rises on a 950,000-square-meter propriety, surrounded by gardens and parks – is a wonder of Baroque architecture, which masters such as Amedeo di Castellamonte and Filippo Juvarra contributed to design.
The complex today includes museums, cultural centers, and exhibition spaces.
An outstanding creation that stemmed from royal, leisurely intents.