Moncalieri - Castello
Moncalieri is a suburb of the city of Turin. It is perhaps best known for its castle which for generations was used by members of the House of Savoy as a summer residence.
After he abdicated the throne of Sardinia in 1821 King Victor retired to this castle with his wife Queen Maria Teresa and two youngest daughters; it was here that he died, January 10, 1824.
Today the castle is used by the Italian carabinieri (military police). Two sections in the front section of the castle can be visited on guided tours (given in Italian only); these sections include the apartment on the left side of the ground floor used by Princess Laetitia, Duchess of Aosta in the nineteenth century, and the apartment on the right side of the first floor used by King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and his wife Queen Adelaide.
The ground floor apartment of Princess Laetitia, Duchess of Aosta, was originally decorated for King Victor in 1789 (the year of his marriage to Queen Maria Teresa). Much of the decoration of these rooms remains today, especially the floors and the neo-classical ceilings. Among the rooms which are least changed is the Chinese Cabinet which was formerly used as a dressing room by Queen Maria Teresa. 2
The guided tours only take place from May to November, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at the following times: 9.30, 10.15, 11.00, and 11.45 a.m., and 12.30, 2.15, 3.00, 3.45, 4.30, 5.15, and 6.00 p.m.; entrance fee € 3,00. In addition to the tour guide, a member of the carabinieri also accompanies the tour.
The easiest way to get to Moncalieri from Turin is to take one of two buses (no. 67 along the river, or no. 70 through the hills) to the last stop "Failla" (both routes require a suburban ticket in addition to the ordinary urban ticket). From the "Failla" bus-stop, one walks about ten blocks up the hill to the castle.
1 Calendar of the Stuart Papers, Historical Manuscripts Commission (Hereford, 1910), IV, 107.
2 Cf. Francesco Pernice, Il Castello di Moncalieri: Gli Appartamenti Reali (Turin: CELID, 1996).