Venaria Reale is amongst the most important and significant cultural and architectural sites in Europe, in addition to being one of the largest royal residences in the whole world. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Venaria Reale lies around 14 kilometres northwest of Turin, and was built as a hunting lodge in the 17th century. It is also said to be the largest cultural restoration project which has ever been undertaken in Europe. In addition to a stunning garden complex, Venaria Reale also boasts of a stag fountain, a stunning Grand Gallery as well as the Chapel of St. Hubert and the Juvarra Stables, among other attractions.
Explore the stunning Reggia di Venaria Giardini, which is not only quite well-maintained, but also serves as a liaison between the modern times and the bygone eras. Quite spectacular in design, and spreading across an expanse of around 60 hectares, the Gardens, as popularly known, were a part of the restoration project of the Venaria Reale. Marked at the border by a long canal, the Gardens at Venaria Reale offer some of the most breath-taking views of the surrounding landscapes as well as the palace. Complete with a high park, low park as well as other terraced areas, the Reggia Di Reale Garden ranks as a living testimony of the magnificent styles of architecture used in the past.
Also known as the Upper Park, the High Park is one of the most popular parts of the Venaria Reale Gardens. It is complete with 18th century elements, from square mesh groves with peacocks and lapwings, to the Fantacasino, as well as sculptures by Giovanni Anselmo and more.
Located in the High Park of the Reggia Di Reale Garden is the terrace alley, an avenue that is placed on top of a terrace and is supported by a high wall, dating back to the late 17th century. The terrace alley is home to trees of elms, along with grassy slopes as well as linden plants and other beautiful flower beds.
The grand parterre was built after 1716, and boasts of flowers, sculpted yews, grassy plant bands, as well as pots of citrus fruits, in addition to rooms that have vegetable walls and vaults. It is here where numerous pavilions were located, all of which were under military control during the world wars.
The design of the Groves in the Reggia di Venaria Giardini dates back to 1700. The part of the high park lies parallel to the Central Allea, where ladies used to hunt in the past. As of today, you can find a variety of trees here, from maple and cherry trees, to oak, yews as well as boxwood trees, among others.
The rose garden from the 1700s is one of the most beautiful attractions of the High Park. Set up right near the palace, this garden is a rectangular area, complete with a central fountain, and surrounded by rows of groves that consist of different types of roses, including the Alberich Barbier climbing roses, and the Marie Pavie.
Another highlight of the Venaria Reale Gardens is the Royal Ally, which is an east-west avenue that divides the groves into two rows. Built in 1710, the Royal Ally has several rows of trees, especially oak trees lining it. It is also located near the Citroniera, the central door of which is located on the ally’s axis.
The Low Park of the Venaria Reale Gardens is home to the large Peschiera water basin, which is the place where you can find the Garden of Fluid Sculptures, the 17th century caves as well as the remnants of the Temple of Diana and the Hercules Fountain. The park also connects the water channel of the estate with the orchards and gardens of the largest Potager Royal in the country.
During your visit to the Low Park in the Reggia Di Reale Garden, you can come across several caves as well as a castellamonte wall, which runs between the Court of Honour and the Fountain of Hercules in the estate. While the statues here were removed during the 18th century, you can still see the surfaces of the caves covered with some of the original wall structures from the past.
The Garden of Fluid Sculptures by Giuseppe Penone is another one of the highlights of the Low Park. The garden has been built on 3 hectares of land, and features groves, fountains and bronze trees, in addition to 14 other works using materials that designate it as a sensory place.
During your visit to the Venaria Reale Gardens, head over to see the Peschiera in the Low Park, which was designed in the mid-17th century, as a great canal where the waters of the fountains in the gardens merged with each other. It is here where the ladies of the house used to go for boat rides and enjoyed fishing.
The Central Axis is a continuation of the central street of Venaria Reale, where the Sala di Diana and the Giardino a Fiori meet. The axis runs parallel to the Central Alley, and is said to be the place where the original path of the estate was built on. You can find a myriad of fountains and sculptures here, including the Fountain of Hercules and the Temple of Diana.
The Central Axis of the Reggia di Venaria Giardini is home to the 17th century flower garden, which is one of the greenest places in the whole estate. With flowerbeds and grasses arranged in different partitions, the flower garden was also used as private spaces for the prince’s games and other events in the past.
The Fountain of Hercules is, by far, one of the most famous attractions of the gardens, and was built between 1669 and 1672. Complete with walls, niches and caves with marble sculptures, the fountain also has a mosaic surface of corals, tuff, crystals and shells, in addition to two stairs and a large basin.
The Central Ally in the Venaria Reale Gardens connects the Fountain of Hercules to the Temple of Diana. It is lined with huge oak trees, and is 800 metres in length. You can also find several lime trees, and a vegetable garden area here.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful attractions of the 17th century located in the estate, the Temple of Diana lies in the middle of a lake, perched atop a rock made of stones. This circular building has a domed roof, along with marble columns and several sculptures and wall decorations with pearls and shells in it.
The Low Park of the Gardens of Venaria Reale boasts of being the abode of the largest potager in all of Italy, which spreads across an expanse of around 10 hectares, and is home to squares of cultivated plots, water ponds, fountains as well as fruit and vegetable plants and trees.
One of the most beautiful parts of the Reggia Di Reale Garden is the Vegetable Garden located in the Potager Royale. The original garden dates back to between the 17th and 18th centuries, and served as the place where all the produce was grown for consumption. In addition to having vegetables and fruits, the vegetable garden also had stunning fountains and pergolas where one could enjoy relaxing strolls.
Located in the centre of the Potager is the orchard, which connects the farm to the Alley as well as the canal to the Fountain of Hercules. There are over 1700 trees in the orchard, a majority of which were planted in 2010.
The Venaria Reale Gardens were built during the 17th century, but were mostly destroyed by the military troops and the Italian soldiers when they served as the barracks for the many wars in the country, including the two World Wars. However, during the restoration of the estate, the gardens were also redesigned and rebuilt, and were then inaugurated in the year 2007, after the first adjustment phase of the restoration was complete.
Soon after that, numerous changes were made in the gardens, which included the construction of pathways, the planting of trees and flowerbeds, and giving the gardens more definition. Once the restoration was complete, the gardens seemed to have a natural transformation, and were regarded as some of the greatest European historical gardens, where one could have a variety of experiences. As of today, the Gardens of Venaria Reale are a part of the network of the Great Italian Gardens.
The Venaria Reale Gardens remain open between 09:30 a.m. to 07:30 p.m. from Tuesdays and Sundays, and remain closed on Mondays.
By CarWhen coming to the gardens by car, you must take the Turin Northern Ring Road, and then take the exit of Venaria or Savonera to get to the garden.
By BusYou can also avail a ride on the Venaria Express shuttle bus from Turin to the Reggia di Venaria, or avail a ride on a bus on lines 11, VE1, and SF2 from Turin.
By TrainYou can also enjoy a train ride on the Torino-Ceres Railway line and get to Turin, from where a cab or bus ride can help you reach the Venaria Gardens.
It is best to ensure that you are wearing comfortable shoes when visiting the gardens since you will be required to walk for a long time when you are out exploring it.
You can also take a tour of the estate on a horse-drawn carriage, a mini train as well as a gondola, which will help you explore the gardens as well.
Make sure to witness the daily water show at the Fountain of the Stag here, which takes place at 12:00 p.m. on weekdays and at 06:30 p.m. on weekends.
Why visit Venaria Reale Gardens?
The Venaria Reale Gardens are a part of the network of the Great Italian Gardens, and boast of being home to some of the most beautiful structures, from flower beds and tall trees, to stunning fountains, as well as a temple located in the middle of a pond.
What are the timings of Venaria Reale Gardens?
The timings of the Venaria Reale Gardens are between 09:30 a.m. to 07:30 p.m. from Tuesdays and Sundays. The gardens remain closed on Mondays.
Is it worth visiting Venaria Reale Gardens?
Yes, it is surely worth visiting the Venaria Reale Gardens. In addition to holding a lot of history pertaining to the House of Savoy, the gardens are also known to be some of the most spectacular European historical gardens in the whole world. These gardens are also the abode of a plethora of attractions, from the Temple of Diana and the Fountain of Hercules, to ancient caves, lish rose and vegetable gardens, as well as orchards and more.
What to see at Venaria Reale Gardens?
When visiting the Venaria Reale Gardens, you must head over to the High and Low Parks, which are home to numerous groves, the Grand Parterre, the Royal Alley and Rose Garden, in addition to the Fluid Sculpture Garden, the Peschiera as well as the caves. You can also head over to the Royal Potager to marvel at the Vegetable Garden and the Orchard here, or explore the Central Axis to witness the Temple of Diana, the Fountain of Hercules and the Flower Garden.
What is the best time to visit Venaria Reale?