The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi (hunting residence) is one of the Savoy residences entered on the Unesco World Heritage Sites list. It was built between 1729 and 1739 on a project by Filippo Juvarra.
In the Stupinigi site, a small castle already existed in medieval times which was to serve the defence system of Moncalieri.
During the 14th century, the castle and the surrounding lands belonged to the Savoy-Acaia cadet branch and then passed under the control of Duke Amedeo VIII of Savoy in 1418 at the death of the last member of the Acaia family.
In 1439 the Duke donated the castle to the Marquis Pallavicino of Zibello. In 1563, after the transfer of the ducal capital from Chambery to Turin, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy expropriated it from the Marquises Pallavicino and subsequently assigned it to the Mauritian Order whose grandmaster was also the head of the Savoy house. The woods around the old castle of Stupinigi, which is partially ruined and visible about a hundred meters south of the building, have since become one of the hunting grounds preferred by the Dukes of Savoy.
It was Vittorio Amedeo II who decided to build a new structure worthy of the royal rank that the Savoy house had recently obtained with the acquisition of the title of king of Sardinia.
Filippo Juvarra’s project, which did not follow the works until the end, provided for a building with a central hall from which four arms spread out to form a Saint Andrew’s cross, two of which then extended to form the access courtyard to the palace. In the vicinity of the central hall there were the apartments of the king and queen, while in the two lateral wings, throughout the 18th century, other apartments were created for the various heirs of the Savoy house.
From 1740 the two wings were extended with buildings that had various functions over time: kennels, stables, menagerie for exotic animals and orangery.
Also from 1740, were built the service and agricultural buildings, which form the large hemicycle in front of the hunting lodge and which line the tree-lined avenue in the direction of Turin.
The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi was never a stable residence for the members of the Savoy house but was used only for short stays of a night or two on the occasion of hunting trips or on the occasion of parties and banquets.