home  › Arts and Leisure

Turin bets on Savoy heritage of royal castles and palaces, to boost tourism

by Filomena Greco

The House of Savoy’s royal palaces, castles, manor houses and hunting residencies: an artistic heritage that last year was visited by two million people, on which Turin plans to invest to increase tourism.

The regional government of Piedmont has recently passed a resolution to create a true cultural itinerary of the Piedmontese estates of Italy’s former royal family, with the Venaria Palace (Reggia di Venaria Reale, pictured) as the linchpin. Although the matter gets complicated when it comes to the governance of the circuit, because there are many different entities and associates involved.

“Our idea is to create a legal structure able to give birth to a cultural circuit that includes all the royal palaces in Piedmont, something we have been talking about for twenty years,” Regional Tourism and Culture Councillor Antonella Parigi says. “Some of these residencies will enter in the new governing body, I’m thinking for example about Borgo Castello, located in Mandria Park, while others will keep their own management but enter a common platform for services, like ticketing,” she adds.

The real challenge is how to best promote these royal palaces abroad, gaining ground on the international tourist market. To this effect Councillor Parigi explains that the Region has created a special regional agency, that will be located at Venaria Palace, to promote the itinerary globally.

In October Venaria Palace will celebrate its tenth anniversary: in 2016 it attracted one million visitors and during the years of architectural restructuring, its €200 million investment accounted for the largest cultural heritage restoration site in Europe.

Looking at the Savoy’s royal patrimony, you can find that’s made up of very different estates: the Rivoli Castle, the royal apartments destined to the morganatic (or non-noble) wife of Vittorio Emanuele II, the hunting residencies.

Above all Stupinigi hunting residence and Racconigi castle have seen a growing number of tourists, under the lead of the Venaria Palace and with the integration in the Torino+Piemonte card: 48,000 cards sold last year with 56,000 entry tickets, 10% more than the year before.