The Baroque palace of Venaria Reale, built by the Savoy dynasty outside the city of Turin, has been re-opened to the public after eight years of restoration works. The palace is one of a group of buildings inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997 as the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.
Built during the 17th and 18th centuries, the palace had declined in the 19th century when it was used as a barracks. The recent works took eight years and cost approximately US$284 million. The work encompassed 200 acres of gardens and 860,000 square feet of pavilions filled with stuccos and paintings.
The palace was built when Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, moved his capital to Turin in 1562 and began a vast series of building projects (continued by his successors) to demonstrate the power of the ruling house. This outstanding complex of buildings, designed and embellished by the leading architects and artists of the time, radiates out into the surrounding countryside from the Royal Palace in the 'Command Area' of Turin to include many country residences and hunting lodges.