Between past, present, and future

Built in the 11th century as a military stronghold, the Castle of Rivoli is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which displays a renowned art collection and great temporary exhibitions in a striking historic and architectural setting..

The Castle came into the hands of the House of Savoy in 1247 and became the first seat of the court of
the dukes of Savoy. In the 17th century, it was transformed into the court residence of Carlo and Amedeo di Castellamonte. The Manica Lunga, the duke’s art gallery, which is more than 140 metres long, is another attraction of the building.

In the 18th century, Vittorio Amedeo II entrusted Juvarra with a great rebuilding project which was never completed.
In 1793, architect Carlo Randoni continued the works for its new owner, Vittorio Emanuele, the duke of Aosta. The second-floor apartment was fully renovated during this period. The unfinished structures, highlighted by Andrea Bruno’s restoration in the 1980s, establish a fascinating line of continuity between past, present, and future.

Rivoli Castle stands at a strategic checkpoint 15 km from Turin, on the moraine amphitheatre that opens up at the mouth of the Susa Valley, west of the city. Its origins as a military stronghold date back to the 11th century. Owned by the House of Savoy from 1247, the building began to take on its current appearance from the second half of the 16th century. The first residence of Duke Emanuele Filiberto in Piedmont, it was transformed into a palace of loisir thanks to the interventions of Ascanio Vitozzi and Carlo and Amedeo di Castellamonte. The complex was then enriched with the Long Wing, the ducal picture gallery, which is over 140 metres long.
At the beginning of the 18th century, it became one of the most important places for the life of the Savoy court. Shortly after acquiring the royal title (1713), Vittorio Amedeo II commissioned Filippo Juvarra to rebuild the castle and Juvarra designed a majestic building that was to receive the court’s artistic investments between 1717 and 1727. Works by the finest artists of the time, such as Gaspar van Wittel, Sebastiano Conca, Francesco Solimena, Sebastiano Ricci and Francesco Trevisani, were selected for the picture gallery.
Following the imprisonment of Vittorio Amedeo II, from 1731 to 1732, Juvarra’s project came to a halt, remaining unfinished as the new king, Carlo Emanuele III, channelled his economic and design-related energies elsewhere, preferring other residences such as the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi. Work recommenced on the half-built Rivoli Castle at the end of the 18th century and Carlo Randoni is credited with the decoration of the rooms on the second floor, including the Chinese drawing room (1793).
With the Restoration, the furniture was largely lost. Sold to the municipal authorities of Rivoli in 1883, the castle became a military barracks. Hit by bombing during the Second World War, it was the subject of a demolition project, which was fortunately never realised.
A first attempt to restore the building was launched to coincide with the celebrations for the centenary of the Unification of Italy, in 1961. In 1979, thanks to the decision by the Piedmont Region to acquire it on loan for 29 years, a long restoration project led by architect Andrea Bruno was launched, putting an end to the building’s degradation and creating an evocative continuity between past, present and future.
In 1984, the first Contemporary Art Museum in Italy was inaugurated in the Castle. The Museum has three exhibition floors in the Castle Building and another, unique in its kind, on the third floor of the Long Wing. The Collection includes works from the 1960s to the present day, with a focus on Arte Povera, Transavantgarde, Minimal, Body and Land Art, as well as temporary exhibitions. Thanks to the agreement signed in 2017 between the Cerruti Foundation and Rivoli Castle, a dedicated space was opened in 2019, housing a collection ranging from Renaissance works to the great masters of contemporary art such as Bacon, Picasso, Modigliani, Warhol, Klee and Kandinsky.
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia – Rivoli (TO)
+39 011 9565222



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