The Hunting Residence Stupinigi: Why You Need To Visit

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Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi – Hunting Residence in English, is a former hunting castle turned summer residence located just 10km SW of Turin.

Hunting Residence of Stupinigi, a UNESCO World Site located near Turin, Italy
Hunting Residence of Stupinigi, a UNESCO World Site located near Turin, Italy

If you like castles as much as I do then you should add the Hunting Residence of Stupinigi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to your list of places to visit.

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Inside the Hunting Residence of Stupinigi, one of the more formal rooms.
Inside the Hunting Residence of Stupinigi, one of the more formal rooms. Check out all the artwork on the walls.

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What is the Hunting Residence of Stupinigi?

Stupinigi is a royal hunting lodge that was built in the early 18th Century for the House of Savoy. I know, it looks like a palace and not a hunting residence, at least not one that you would commonly find anywhere else. But this one is royal and it shows on the inside and out.

This hunting residence was used for many celebrations, including the wedding of Charles Phillipe who went on to become King Charles X of France. Stupinigi was also once home to Napolean Bonaparte’s sister Pauline, as you tour through the residence you will come across some items of furniture that once belonged to her.

The hunting park is massive and really beautiful. Besides being home to a variety of animals, which hopefully aren’t still hunted, it is also home to some rare plant species that are no longer widely found. This is one of the reasons why the park is now preserved as the Parco Naturale di Stupinigi.

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The Interior of Stupinigi 

As expected in any royal residence, some of the rooms are grand as the one shown above, but it’s much simpler than the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Turin). Now that is something to see if you’re seeking grandiose!

Unfortunately, no photos are permitted inside that palace, but it’s definitely worth checking out and is conveniently located in the heart of Turin near Gelati Pepino, where I did a heavenly gelato tasting.

The Hunting Residence of Stupinigi isn’t exactly slumming it though. It holds its own with an impressive 137 rooms, 17 galleries, and over 31,000 sq m. (not all are open to the public). Just a typical summer residence, no? The grounds are equally impressive, as the illustration below shows (photo taken of a sign):

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Overview of the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi and its extensive grounds. Located 10km SW of Turin.
Overview of the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi and its extensive grounds. Located 10km SW of Turin.

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The highlight of the residence is the main gallery, which also stands out when viewing the residence from the outside:

The main gallery in the Palazzina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Turin.
The main gallery in the Palazzina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Turin.

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One of the simpler rooms in the Palazzina, most of which are much plainer than the grander Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Turin).
One of the simpler rooms in the Palazzina, most of which are much plainer than the grander Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Turin).

But without a doubt, my favorite part of the residence was all the paintings of animals. I tried to ignore the fact that most of these animals were likely hunted, inspiring the paintings. Sometimes that was easy to do as with the cute photo below:

Reflecting its' hunting roots, many of the paintings in the Unesco World Heritage Site are of animals, like this one.
Reflecting its’ hunting roots, many of the paintings in the Unesco World Heritage Site are of animals, like this one.

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Other times, not as much:

Painting of wild animals that have been hunted lying in the fireplace.
Painting of wild animals that have been hunted lying in the fireplace.

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How Do I Get To Stupinigi?

I took the City Sightseeing bus to the Residence of Stupinigi. It operates two lines and stops at all the major tourist destinations complete with an audio guide so you learn about the highlights while in transit.

But on a nice day, I would recommend cycling there instead if you have the time. It’s only 10km from Turin and near the residence, there’s a cafe offering outdoor seating. Plus, I think cycling is a great way to experience Turin.

I was only in Turin for three days but visited both the Hunting Residence of Stupinigi and the Royal Palace of Turin. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is a huge draw for me.

I enjoyed visiting both castles, the residence because of its impressive grounds and layout and all the animal artwork inside and the palace for its opulence. Both are worth a visit if you have the time.

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Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace in Turin)
Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace in Turin)

Know Before You Go to the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi:

  • The entrance tickets are €12.
  • Allow approximately an hour for your visit, which is enough time to stroll through the residence at a leisurely pace. I did a self-guided tour.
  • I recommend cycling to the hunting residence in nice weather, but it’s also possible to go there with the City Sightseeing bus or by train from Turin.
  • At the time of writing the residence was closed on Tuesdays – but check in advance with the Turin Tourist Office.
  • You can see all of Italy’s whopping 49 World Heritage Sites here.

Accommodation

I stayed at Best Western Hotel Piemontese, which is conveniently located in the heart of Turin and within walking distance of many tourist attractions. Plus the staff are incredibly friendly.

You can also stay at the Best Western Plus Hotel Genova which is a 4-Star and has a great location. The hotel offers a spa and gym and a great breakfast. There are several Best Western Hotels in Turin, all of which have great reviews.

If your looking for a luxurious stay then look no further than the 5-Star Grand Hotel Sitea. It has an excellent rating of 9.1/10. Enjoy the spacious rooms and have a meal at the Michelin star Carignano restaurant. Enjoy being pampered in style. This hotel is perfect for couples that want to treat themselves to something spectacular.

Tours

I would advise if you are staying a few days to pick up a Torino pass. The card will give you free access to most museums and to both the Royal Palace of Turin and the Hunting Residence Stupinigi. You will also have access to the Da Vinci exhibitions and the Egyptian Museum which are both popular places to visit. 

The Hunting Residence Stupinigi is a perfect day trip to take from Turin and definitely worth a visit.

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