Italy is full of amazing palaces, and on my visit to Turin I saw so many stunning Royal apartments, painted ceilings and magnificent facades.
While looking for what to do in Italy, you’re definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful building. But no matter how many you see, you can always see more!
Not too far from Turin’s city centre, there’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you want to visit if you like beautiful things 🙂
Venaria Palace, better known as La Venaria Reale (Reale means Royal in Italian), is the former Royal palace built for the Savoy family. It was restored and is open to the public.
It’s a short and fun day trip from Turin that I recommend you take while you visit the city.
However, it doesn’t have to be a day trip. There is a lot to see in and around the palace and its gardens, plus some temporary exhibitions as well, so you can easily spend an entire day there and stay overnight to explore the area the next day.
Here’s my guide to visiting Venaria Palace.
How to get to Venaria from Turin
Another way to get to Venaria from Turin’s city centre is by taking the Venaria Express bus. It has several stops in the centre, including Piaza Castello.
The ticket is the same as the normal 100 minute bus ticket in Turin that you can buy at kiosks around the city.
It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the palace on the bus.
Pick up the Venaria Express from the tourist information office at Piaza Castello so you can plan your day trip easily.
Alternatively, if you take the City Sightseeing hop on hop off bus, choose Line C and it will take you to Venaria, as well as to other points of interest on the way.
Once you arrive, head to the ticket office just outside the palace. You can also book your ticket in advance.
The palace is included in the Torino + Piedmonte Card , which offers great value for money. If you use the card you will get access to all the exhibitions. If you’re really into Royalty, check out Turin’s Royal Card.
A tour of the Venaria Palace
You start with an impressive portrait gallery of the Savoy family, followed by a detailed exhibition on the history of the Royal family.
Next, go upstairs to see the rooms of the palace itself. The rooms are truly beautiful, with artworks and sculptures.
Some of the original furniture and other objects were restored. It’s a large palace, and if you feel you’re getting lost, look for the number in each room and follow those numbers.
In every room you’ll find some text in English and Italian with historical explanations and context.
Look out the windows to get a view of the gardens that you’re going to visit later on.
After you see the Royal rooms, you reach the highlight of the palace – Galleria Grande or The Great Gallery.
It’s one of the most magnificent things you’ll see on this trip.
This is the point when you and everyone else around you will take out your cameras and start shooting some spectacular photos. If you lose track of time, that’s normal 😉
After you exit the Galleria, you’ll see more restored Royal apartments.
Don’t skip the coffee shop, because it’s also part of the display, being housed in some beautifully decorated rooms.
The same applies to the bookshop – it’s in another large gallery that’s part of the palace and leads you to the stables.
When you enter the stables, you enter a huge exhibition hall.
There are no horses in the stables of course, but it’s dedicated to the Royals’ means of transport: A splendid and luxurious barge and some heavily decorated carriages.
Next you’re going to go out into the vast Royal Gardens. I went on a rainy day unfortunately, but they were still beautiful nonetheless.
Venaria Reale guided tour
You can visit Venaria Reale with a guided tour as well. It might be easier to absorb all that beauty and all that information at the same time with the help of a professional guide!
There are tours in English and Italian, starting at Piazza della Repubblica, Venaria. They include the palace and the gardens. Find out all the details about the Venaria Reale guided tour here.
More things to do in Venaria
After you visit the palace, you may also want to take a walk around the main street (where the ticket office is).
There are small and charming shops and restaurants and a relaxed vibe.
You may also want to visit La Mandria Park, a massive green area near the palace.
Where to stay near Veneria Reale
While it’s easy to get back to Turin, you might like to take your time, stay overnight and explore the area a bit more.