The complex was a true temple for horse riding, intended for the exercise of the students of the Royal Academy and for the court shows.
It was designed by Benedetto Alfieri with a large nave of 73.5 meters intended to house the spectator stands, it was built for half its length, becoming a particularly evocative architecture. Today it’s a multidisciplinary cultural hub.
The Cavallerizza Reale (Royal Riding School) is a stunning site currently at the centre of an intense debate on the contemporary role of historic Savoy architecture. It is a complex and stratified organism, which has been undergoing transformation into a multidisciplinary cultural hub in recent years: in addition to spaces still to be redeveloped, there are a lecture hall, exhibition spaces, places for experimentation, socialising and creativity.
As early as 1674, a riding arena and stables were planned alongside the Royal Academy, according to Amedeo di Castellamonte’s plans to complete the Palazzo Ducale complex with administrative and service buildings. But it was in 1740 that the complex intended for equestrian exercises and court performances was built. It was Benedetto Alfieri who designed the building in the heart of the Command Zone, giving it a distinctly stately and representative appearance. The heart of the structure in Alfieri’s design was the riding arena, intended for performances by the students of the Royal Academy. Alfieri designed it as a veritable temple for riding, with a 73.5-metre hall with a lowered ceiling and alcoves along the walls to accommodate the spectators’ stands. The structure built was actually half the planned length and incorporated into a series of porticoed buildings, including a 19th century straight wing for residential use, a low building and some service buildings called “pagliere”. Particularly striking is the access to the 19th century buildings, which is via a double staircase, characterised by an illusionistically suspended central ramp.
In 2007, the complex was sold by the State Property Department to the City of Turin and in part to the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; subsequently auctioned, in 2014 it was occupied by a group of citizens opposed to its sale. It is now at the centre of a series of considerations and plans for its future redevelopment.

Via Giuseppe Verdi, 9, 10124 Torino (TO)