Exteriors

Standing atop the moraine-formed amphitheatre overlooking Rivoli and Avigliana, the distinctive Castello di Rivoli is one of the most important symbols of the Savoy dynasty. It is an integral part of a architectural design that from the late 16th century led to the realization of the so-called “Corona di Delizie” (Crown of Delights) – symbols and celebrations of absolute power. The complex comprises two structures from different periods: the Castello with its 18th-century appearance, and the Manica Lunga opposite, built in the 17th century and planned as the paintings gallery of Duke Charles Emmanuel I. The two buildings are separated by an atrium, an open-air space dominated by the unfinished walls of the Castello and of the Manica Lunga. At the center are the columns and pillars of Fillipo Juvarra’s imposing architectural project. The two buildings have been restored, stressing their different natures.

The atrium preserves the status of the works made during the Juvarrian period at the moment of their interruption. The restoration architect, Andrea Bruno, although aware of the original architectural plan thanks to a painting made by Marco Ricci and Massimo Teodoro Michela in the 18th century, decided not to complete it. On the north side of the Castle, the robust pillars conceived by Juvarra dominate, while on the porphyry pavement, the marble and stone slabs mark the positions of the uprights and the directions of the spans that were never realized. The imposing Castle wall has supports for unfinished decorations, niches intended for statues and large openings that evoke the great spaces projected by the Sicilian architect. In the higher part is a striking panorama made of crystal and steel, a contemporary insertion by Bruno. On the other side is the Manica Lunga, designed by the Castellamonte brothers, which Juvarra intended to destroy in order to house a new wing of the same dimensions as the existing one. It has been at the center of the restoration campaign since 1986, as can be seen from a date inscribed on the wall. Today, Bruno’s large windows fill the hole left by the interrupted demolition.