An extraordinarily elegant apartment

Palazzo Chiablese was built in the late 16th century on medieval foundations, and in the 17th century it became Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy’s residence when he stayed in Turin. Its current appearance dates back to the 18th century, when in 1753 King Carlo Emanuele III of Savoy gave it to his second son, Benedetto Maurizio, Duke of Chiablese. Court architect Benedetto Alfieri designed for him what was soon regarded as one of the most elegant apartments in the city. The best artists
active in the court yards participated in the decoration, with local, Roman and Neapolitan provenance, achieving results worthy of the greatest European residences of the 18th century. Pietro Piffetti’s spectacular double body cabinet in the Alcove Room testifies to the exceptional richness and refinement of the furnishings.
During Carlo Felice’s reign, the building was used as the King’s residence; it then became property of Ferdinando of Savoy -Carignano, Duke of Genoa. In 1850, upon his marriage to Elizabeth of Saxony, the rooms underwent a significant renovation. Margherita of Savoy, the first Queen of Italy, was born here in 1851, and the palace became the residence of her brother Tommaso and his wife, Elizabeth of Bavaria. After the war, the palace became the headquarters of the Department of Fine Arts, and it has now recovered its role as a Savoy residence with the restoration and refurbishment of the courtly flats on the first floor, recently opened to the public.

This apparently austere and unadorned building in the heart of Turin conceals a riot of sparkling gold, furnishings and colourful fabrics: it is Palazzo Chiablese, one of the most impressive examples of the European Rococo style.
Work began on its construction in the 16th century and it was originally owned by the Marchioness Beatrice Langosco di Stroppiana. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, the residence was inhabited by the cadet sons of the Savoy family: in 1642 it was granted to Cardinal Maurizio on the occasion of his marriage to his niece Ludovica, but few traces of this decorative phase remain. Today’s appearance is the result of the refurbishment commissioned by the King of Sardinia Carlo Emanuele III for his beloved youngest son Benedetto Maurizio. His title was Duke of Chiablese and this name identified the palace for centuries to follow. From 1753, the first court architect Benedetto Alfieri extended the 17th-century residence to occupy the entire block; he designed the new façade overlooking the cathedral, which remained unfinished, in exposed brick, and created a gallery linking it comfortably with the Royal Palace. Inside, the rooms were distributed with considerable attention to functionality and decorated by a large team of craftsmen who covered the walls with carved wooden panelling and adorned the ceilings with rococo stuccoes. Paintings by the most refined artists present in Turin at the time were placed above the doors, and Pietro Piffetti, the celebrated king of cabinet-makers, was commissioned to craft the furnishings.
During the French occupation, the palace became home to Prince Camillo Borghese and his wife Paolina Bonaparte. It was subsequently inhabited by King Carlo Felice, who preferred it to the Royal Palace. A final decorative renovation was carried out for the wedding of Ferdinando, second son of King Carlo Alberto, and Elisabetta of Saxony (1850). The following year, the residence witnessed the birth of Italy’s first queen, Margherita of Savoy, who spent her youth in these rooms. In 1943, air raids on the city caused extensive damage to the palace: a precious 18th century drawing room was completely destroyed and several rooms were damaged. One of these was the Alcove, restored in 2020. Part of the residence is now the seat of the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the Metropolitan City of Turin while, on the ground floor, Palazzo Chiablese hosts the temporary exhibitions of the Royal Museums.
Piazza San Giovanni, 2 – Torino
+39 011 5220411


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