Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi

Turin, Italy | C.1729

Photo Credit: Valentina Zinna

In the 18th century, the royal hunt was both a sport and a performance. Often it was the King and his court members who took part, sometimes drawing hundreds of spectators. Both on horseback and on foot, hunters were aided by hounds and often hunted deer, fox, and hare.

Many hunting lodges exist, but Palazzina di Caccia of Stupingi is that of another caliber. An opulent palace and royal hunting lodge built in the 18th Century for the King of Sardinia – as signified by a bronze stag prominently perched atop its central dome.

Prior to the Palazzini, a small castle resided on the territory just southwest of Turin, Italy. For centuries, it passed through noble houses, and was acquired by Emmanuel Filiberto, Duke of Savoy in 1563. He explored the nearby rich lands and forests, and the area quickly became a favorite hunting destination for the King and his court.

By 1729, Victor Amadeus II was on the throne. He decided to transform the castle into a proper royal hunting lodge, and commissioned Italian architect Filippo Juvarra to design it. Juvarra catered to the King’s whims for grandeur, creating a palatial exterior framework and employing a team of designers to drench its interiors in ornamental rococo-style decor including stucco, frescoes, and mirrors.

Formally a destination for sport and leisure, the Palazinna continues to draw crowds seeking to capture a piece of Italian history. Since 1919, the it has been home to a museum of furniture and art that exhibits Savoy furnishings, paintings, sculptures, and some of the most important works from renowned Turin cabinetmakers.

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