Turin is one of the most impressive cities in Northern Italy. It is the center of Piedmont region, where tourists can discover many beautiful places of interest; among them being the Royal Palace, one of the most important sights in the city. It is located in the historical center of Turin – in the Royal Square. The building impresses with its dimensions and number of windows, though outwardly it looks rather modest, I can assure you that inside it’s profusely luxurious.
Discover the history of the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Turin was built in 1660, on the place where previously the old Bishop’s Palace was located. It was the governmental residence of the Kings of Savoy, who ruled in Turin almost till 1865. The palace was designed and constructed by famous architects as Filippo Juvarra and Guarino Guarini. Nowadays it is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
Get enchanted by the sumptuous rooms of the Royal Palace
After you pass through the magnificent entrance hall, you will step into the large and richly decorated rooms with paintings and frescoes, sparkling gilded moldings, and tapestries. In the chambers of the palace you’ll see the carved furniture from the XVII century, which has been perfectly preserved. On the first floor you can visit the royal apartments. Among them are also the throne hall, the ballroom (in the picture above), and the gallery.
After admiring the apartments of the Royal Palace, I suggest you visit the Royal Armory, which is located in one of the wings of the palace, and is famous for its collection of weapons and armor. Being inaugurated by Carlo Alberto in 1837, it is one of the largest collections of weapons in the world.
In the other wing of the palace you can find the Royal Library,containing valuable paintings, ancient tomes, and manuscripts. Among them is the famous self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.
The ticket costs 12 EUR (13 USD), and includes a visit to the Royal Palace apartments, Royal Armory, Archaeological Museum, Galleria Sabauda, and the Royal Library. The reduced ticket for people aged 18-25 is 6 EUR (approximately 7 USD). The palace is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30 am until 7:30 pm.
Enjoy the beautiful paintings in Galleria Sabauda
Once you finish your visit of the Royal Palace, it’s time to dive into the beauty of art in Galleria Sabauda, which is considered to be one of the most important art galleries in Italy. Its construction was commissioned by Carlo Alberto in 1832. It displays to the public a wonderful collection of more than 700 artworks of Italian and European artists. Here you can admire paintings by famous artists, such as: Andrea Mantegna, Paolo Veronese, Orazio Gentileschi, Guercino, Tintoretto, Paul Rubens, Anton van Dyck, and many others.
If you are interested in archeology you can also visit the Archaeological Museum, which as mentioned before is also included in the combo ticket. Here you can explore the finds of archaeological excavations from the prehistoric age, barbarian period, and late Roman times.
Discover the interior beauty at the church of San Lorenzo
As you’re in close proximity to the Royal Palace, you can’t miss visiting the church of San Lorenzo, which in my opinion is one of the most unusual churches I have ever seen. If you are not well informed about its position, you can easily miss it, simply because from the exterior it doesn’t give you any signs of its religious purpose. You can detect it only by the cupola and the cross above it.
If the exterior of the church is not so remarkable, its interior is on the contrary is a true masterpiece, being constructed by the genius himself - Guarino Guarini. The interior of the church has an octagonal plan with convex sides, and a well-lighted cupola. All the walls, including the ceiling, are covered with beautiful frescoes. If you want to find out more information about the church, just join one of the groups and listen to the guide who will be glad to teach you more about the history and significance of the church.
Make it for free!
If you are going to stay in Turin for a longer time, I suggest you buy the Torino + Piemonte Card, which allows free entrance to a great number of museums and palaces, including the Royal Palace. You will also benefit from many other discounts, including the possibility to travel for free by all urban and suburban public transport of Turin.
The Royal Palace of Turin has proved to many tourists to be a destination worth visiting. You will be able not only to indulge in its richness and luxury, but also find out more about the Royal Italian lifestyle. So don’t miss the chance to get closer to the Italian culture!
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