Saturday, January 25, 2014

Palazzino di Caccia: Hunting residence

Now, if I were to imagine a hunting lodge for an escape for a few days or weeks in the country, I'd imagine a rustic, rough hewn log cabin-style place with a small stream nearby and fend-for-yourself accoutrements regarding one's "les affaires de toilette". Not so, apparently for the Dukes then Kings of Savoy as you are about to see. From Wikipedia:

The original castle was owned by the Acaja line of the House of Savoy, Lords of Piedmont until 1418, and was sold to marquis Rolando Pallavicino in 1493. It was then acquired by Emmanuel Philibert in 1563, when the ducal capital was moved from ChambĂ©ry to Turin. 

The new palace was designed by the architect Filippo Juvarra to be used as a palazzina di caccia ("hunting lodge") for Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia. Works started in 1729. Within two years construction was far enough advanced for the first formal hunt to take place. Juvarra called upon a team of decorators, many of them from Venice, to carry out the decor of the palazzina interiors. In the reigns of Carlo Emanuele III and Victor Amadeus III the palazzina and its formal park continued to be extended, at first by Juvarra's assistant, Giovanni Tommaso Prunotto, then by numerous North Italian architects, such as Ignazio Birago di Borgaro, Ludovico Bo, Ignazio Bertola and Benedetto Alfieri. The final building has a total of 137 rooms and 17 galleries, and covers 31,050 square meters. Polissena of Hesse-Rotenburg, wife of Carlo Emanuele III also carried out improvements.

The original purpose of the hunting lodge is symbolized by the bronze stag perched at the apex of the stepped roof of its central dome, and the hounds' heads that decorate the vases on the roofline. The building has a saltire plan: four angled wings project from the oval-shaped main hall.

Et maintenant, La Palazzino di Caccia di Stupingi

The Palazzino is just outside Turin
Pretty spectacular for a "weekend place"
The gates and main entrance to the Palazzino
The stag atop the dome of the main salon tells us that this is a hunting lodge.
Inside the domed main salon
A salon in the Appartemento della Levante
Detail of a chandelier and a painting of a Savoiarde
A bedroom in the Palazzino
A beautiful example of cabinetry in one of the Palazzino's salons
Detail of the cabinet showing panels made by the Josiah Wedgewood Company in England

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