An Italian Pleasure Palace Rises Again

Venaria Reale About 300 years ago, the Venaria Reale was a vast pleasure estate, a jewel in the crown of opulent Savoy residences surrounding Turin.

The Baroque palace, stables, gardens and hunting reserve (235 acres), built by Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy, were so magnificent that a local proverb claimed that leaving Turin without visiting Venaria was like “seeing the mother but not the daughter.”

For the last two centuries, though, the town of Venaria, seven and a half miles north of Turin, had witnessed the steady deterioration of the estate, which was erected in part as a demonstration of the power of the House of Savoy.

By the time the region of Piedmont embarked on an eight-year, $300 million restoration in 1999, the estate had been collecting dust for so long that even some Italians mispronounced the name (it’s ven-ah-REE-uh). Full story by zoomata’s Nicole Martinelli in The New York Times.