Audio File length: 3.04
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English Language: English

The straight road that crosses the village of Venaria Reale led you into the great courtyard, a large square that opens up just in front of the Baroque complex: the main building is at the back of the square, while on the left where you see the two towers and shingled roofs lies the wing with the Gallery that ends in a chapel dedicated to Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunters.

The ornaments that you can see in white plaster on the façade are the symbols of Savoy wealth: shells, fruit, and horns of plenty.

 

Now pause the audio and go to the Sala di Diana.

 

You are now in Sala di Diana, or Diana's Hall, which is the most magnificent hall in the palace and was clearly used for hosting grand banquets. The decorations are so elaborate that you don't even know where to start looking. The ceiling is decorated with square stuccoes and frescoes representing the Gods of Olympus. In the middle you can see ten portraits of the Dukes of Savoy on horseback, while lower you can see the same number of canvases dedicated to hunting deer, hare, bear, fox, and boar. The same man also created the frescoes: he was a Flemish painter named Jan Miel who worked in Turin.

 

Now pause the audio and go to the Galleria Grande.

 

The Galleria Grande, or Grand Gallery where you now stand, connected the King's apartment to that of the heir to the throne, and was created by Filippo Juvarra. 80 meters long and 12 meters tall, it's a masterpiece of harmony and proportions, where the relationship between the architecture and stucco/painting decoration creates a beautiful effect. Look how the large windows play beautiful games of light on the walls; from the outside the windows appear rectangular, but from the inside they're oval!

 

Now pause the audio and go to the Chapel of Saint Hubert.

 

This Chapel is also an architectural jewel by Filippo Juvarra; in addition to large statues, altarpieces, and stuccoes, its charm mostly comes from the marvelous diffused light. And now look up, and you'll see that the dome... is fake! But it's painted so well that it looks real.

 

FUN FACT: one of the symbols of Venaria is the Fountain of the Deer, where you can see the Water Theater. There are 100 jets of water, that reach as high up as 12 metres. With colored spotlights and steam pipes, it's one of the world's most spectacular fountains!

 

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