#noveparole. 9 - Privacy | La Venaria Reale

#noveparole. 9 - Privacy

Gian Luca Favetto tells the history and the achitecture of the Reggia di Venaria in a journey throughout nine words.

Nine stages, nine ideas and nine spaces take you on a journey through the Palace, seen from a new perspective. More than just a tour of a stately home, this is story of the Reggia and of the emotions and ideas it evokes. It is many things: a building, a residence, an urban design project, a metaphor, a Utopia and a symbol of power. It is the fruit of a vision whose stratification of styles and eras remains true to every period of history that has passed through its walls.

Words are small things, but they contain images, some of them immense. They hold emotions and sentiments which are infinite, and indefinable. They hold the past and the future, weaving stories in which we can see ourselves.

These nine words are like an archipelago of islands, waiting for you to explore.

Idea and voice: Gian Luca Favetto
Graphic design: Leandro Agostini
Editing: Gianluca Negro
A project by the Consorzio delle Residenze Reali Sabaude


9 - PRIVACY

A wall, thirty kilometres round, surrounds Europe’s largest enclosed park: 65 square kilometres, which now belong to twelve different municipalities. In one corner of the park, on a small hill from the top of which you can glimpse the Palace of Venaria two kilometres away, stands a red brick castle. It has a wide front, a tower on each side, three inner courtyards and two passageways running through it. Although called the Castle of La Mandria, it is a house that looks like a village. This is the real home of Italy’s first king, Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy.

Acquired in 1863, the Castle became the private family home, where the king lived together with “Bela Rosin”, real name Rosa Vercellana, the daughter of a drum major in the Savoy army, who was the king’s companion for more than thirty years until she became his second wife through a morganatic marriage.

This is where Victor Emmanuel stepped out of the role of king and lord of the nation to became Rosa’s husband and father to their two children, Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, who also lived here but in a separate wing.

In the 24 rooms opening onto the main façade, Victor Emmanuel and Rosa lived here alone during the fine weather, from March to October, accompanied by a maid for her and a valet for him. The rooms include a dressing room, corridors, drawing rooms, reception rooms, a ballroom, a games room, and a kitchen: Rosa’s domain. Here she would cook, prepare game such as hare, and clean mushrooms. It was she who would dip Victor’s evening cigar in cognac.

Then there are three bedrooms – five if you include the smaller rooms where the servants slept. Of the three master bedrooms, one was for Victor and one for Rosa. Both have bow windows with dressing tables. The third room – decorated in red, the colour of passion - was for both of them.

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