Venaria Reale, Province of Torino, Piedmont
Venaria Reale is situated at the foot of the Graie Alps, where the Ceronda stream flows into the Stura di Lanzo. The name of the town comes from the hunting reservoir established in the place by duke Charles Emmanuel II Savoy during the 17th century.
- Altitude: 262 m a.s.l
- Population: about 35,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 10078
- Dialing Area Code: +39 011
- Patron Saint: St. Eusebio the Confessor
- Frazioni & Localities: Altessano, La Mandria.
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Provinces of Piedmont
Originally known as Altessano, in the sixteenth century was divided into Upper Altessano, which later took the name of Venaria and Lower Altessano, still known as Altessano, a hamlet of Venaria. It is the only town in Piedmont to boast two distinct Savoy residences, the 16th-century Venaria Reale and the 19th-century "Appartamenti Reali" di Borgo Castello, located in La Mandria Regional Park.
What to see
- The Regional Park "la Mandria", covering 6500 hectares, used as a horse reservoir and countryside residence by king Victor Emmanuel II, is one of the very few instances left of the forests that used to cover the whole Po plain.
- The Castle built in 1658 as a royal hunting mansion on a project by architect Amedeo di Castellamonte, called originally the "reggia di Diana". In the last two centuries it fell into decay, though restoration works started in 1961. In the central "salone di Diana" there is a frescoed ceiling by Jan Mill (1663) who painted also the 10 beautiful hunting scenes now preserved in Palazzo Madama. On the complex there are other fine buildings, such as the extraordinary "Diana Gallery", The small church of Sant'Uberto designed by architect F. Juvarra in the 1720's, the tower, the horse stables and the riding tracks.