I have finally found a few minutes to write a new post!
I want to tell you about my recent visit to the Castello di Racconigi. Racconigi is a small town in the North-West of Italy where this Royal Palace is located. There are many similar buildings in the area but this one is particularly beautiful and meaningful in historical terms.
This building has quite a long history, dating back to almost 1000 years ago! At the beginning it was a Medieval fortress, and it was conquered at the end of the XIV century by the Savoy family. The Savoy family are particularly important in Italian history as they were the dynasty who unified the country in 1861 and 2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification.
Up to the XVII century, the royal family maintained this as a military base. Eventually, they chose to transform it into something different: Emanuele Filiberto Amedeo, who was named ‘the mute’ for his impossibility to speak, decided to turn the building into a Villa di Delizie (Villa of Delights) which were so popular at the time amongst Royal families. He called superb artists, including André Le Nôtre who worked on Versailles gardens and the famous Italian architect Guarino Guarini to make a new plan of the building and change it completley. The changes actually did not occur as quickly as hoped for, but over the XVIII century other important architects and artists worked on it, adding some neoclassical elements.
In the XIX century, the Palace was being used as a Summer Royal Palace for the Savoy family and more changes were done to the building. Most of the internal decorations were directed by Pelagio Palagi, who used the so-called eclectic style. The building underwent further developments during the XX century until it finally stopped being used, given the monarchy ended after the Second World War.
One of the most impressive rooms, in my opinion, is the entrance which is called Hercules Room from the presence of statues all around the room representing his labors. Notice that the ceiling decorations are all Trompe d’Oeils, they are not real decorations!
Here are images of some other rooms, enjoy!