The buildings that currently make up the Cavallerizza Reale were part of a grandiose urban-planning scheme conceived by the Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele II. In 1668 he decided that there was a need to radically transform the face of Turin. Among other projects, the city was provided with a prestigious institution, the Accademia Militare, an academy for training high-ranking military officers drawn from the young recruits of noble birth from Piedmont and beyond. The construction of the first “Baroque” section of the Accademia Militare and the Cavallerizza Reale, the royal riding grounds, connected through the Teatro Regio (finished in 1740) to the Palazzo Reale and the cathedral containing the chapel of the Holy Shroud. This constituted the culmination of the architectural and social project that significantly linked all the capital’s key buildings to the ruler and his residence. Architect Amedeo di Castellamonte was asked by the House of Savoy to design a single unified project, which was never fully completed, but modified over time by architects Filippo Juvarra and Benedetto Alfieri, among others. According to the progress reports from the construction of the buildings and fortifications, preserved in the Turin State Archive, the Cavallerizza was erected between 1740 and 1741 according to Benedetto Alfieri’s design, for use by the Accademia Militare. Until the end of the 19th century, the Cavallerizza was used by the Palazzo Reale and the Savoy state headquarters, serving as a site for equine exercises and games, a manège, stables and carriage parking. These activities are still remembered in the stuccowork and decorations on the doorways and vaults. The stables were finally finished in the mid-19th century, using the designs of Carlo Bernardo Mosca and Ernesto Melano. In the second half of the 20th century, the Zecca wing was occupied by the Italian state police, who used the Cavallerizza as a parking lot, while part of the surrounding buildings was assigned for public housing. Towards the end of the last century the City of Turin acquired the whole area from the state to restore it, and the Maneggio Reale, Manica Lunga, Manica Corta and Salone delle Guardie were granted to Turin’s Teatro Stabile. As well as serving as stages, the various rooms have been used as rehearsal studios, storerooms, dressing rooms and spaces for constructing stage sets. Inaugurated in 2001 with Fenicie (The Phoenician women) directed by Gabriele Vacis and coproduced by the Teatro Stabile Torino and the Laboratorio Teatro Settimo, the Cavallerizza has hosted many of the Teatro Stabile’s productions. The many memorable performances have included La Peste (The plague) directed by Claudio Longhi, Comedie Humaine directed by Dominique Pitoiset, Disco Pigs directed by Valter Malosti (coproduced with the Teatro di Dioniso) and Beppe Rosso’s Senza regia (Without direction), coproduced with ACTI Teatri Indipendenti.
How to get there
Via Verdi, 9 – Torino
55 – 56 - 13 – 61 – 15 /Bus stop via Po
68 – 18 /Bus stop G. Rossini
3 – 16 /Bus stop Corso Regina Margherita – via G. Rossini