Palazzo Civico overlooks Piazza Palazzo di Città, the square which, until the 18th century, was known as Piazza delle Erbe, for the vegetable market held there.
SHOT HISTORY OF PALAZZO CIVICO
In 1659, the architect Francesco Lanfranchi was comissioned to design the new seat of the city’s Town Hall.
The first stone was laid during the same year by the Archbishop of Turin, Giulio Cesare Bergera, in the presence of Duke Carlo Emanuele II and his mother, Christine of France. The building was completed in 1663.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the palace, a great reception was held for the wedding of Duke Carlo Emanuele II with the Princess of France Françoise Madeleine d’Orléans.
Two years later, following the death of Christine of France in 1663, and of Françoise Madeleine d’Orléans in 1664, the palace hosted the second wedding of Carlo Emanuele II, with Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours.
In the following century, the building was extensively remodeled by Benedetto Alfieri, who added two wings, one facing Via Giuseppe Garibaldi and the other facing Via Corte d’Appello. At the same time, the small square behind Palazzo Civico, known as Piazza del Butirro (Butter Square), became the courtyard of the palace.
Further changes were later made by the architects Francesco Valeriano Dellala of Beinasco, Luigi Barberis and Filippo Castelli.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Palazzo Civico housed the offices in charge of the administration of the city.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF PALAZZO CIVICO
Palazzo Civico has three floors. On the ground floor, there is a portico in the center, flanked by the statues of Ferdinando of Savoy, Duke of Genoa between 1831 and 1855, and of Prince Eugene of Savoy, a field marshal in the army of the Holy Roman Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries.
On top of the facade, there is a pediment containing a large clock flanked by two niches.
The interior opens onto the Courtyard of Honour (Cortile d’Onore), which remained almost identical to the original design by Lanfranchi.
You can reach the first noble floor through a vaulted staircase decorated by Pietro Fea, and then, through a corridor, the central Marble Hall (Salone dei Marmi).
On the eastern wall of Salone dei Marmi, there is a large high relief by Giacomo Spalla, depicting Vittorio Emanuele I on horseback, in memory of the Savoy restoration in Piedmont, after the fall of Napoleon. Today, the hall is mainly used for civil weddings.
Adjacent to Salone dei Marmi, there is the Council Hall (Sala del Consiglio), also known as the Red Hall (Sala Rossa), for the red velvets and damasks on the walls. The municipal council of the city traditionally meets in this hall.
The ceiling of the Red Hall was painted in the 17th century by Giovanni Andrea Casella.
Other works are the portrait of mayor Giovanni Francesco Bellezia, attributed to Bartolomeo Caravoglia, the canvas dedicated to the cholera epidemic of 1835, by Amedeo Augero, and an imposing oil painting by an anonymous author, depicting Carlo Alberto of Savoy, King of Sardinia from 1831 to 1849.
HOW TO GET TO PALAZZO CIVICO
Palazzo Civico is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Porta Nuova railway station and about 1.7 kilometers away from the Porta Susa railway station.
The closest tram and bus stop is Corte D’Appello, located about 50 meters away, in Via Milano, on the tram Line 4 and bus Lines 4 ROSSO, 11, 19, 27, 51, 57, 92 and W60.
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