The hunting lodge at Stupinigi - the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi - is located a few kilometres south of Turin. It is now a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The words hunting lodge perhaps bring to mind something small and humble. In the case of Stupinigi nothing could be further from the truth - in 1729 when Vittorio Amadeo II commanded the lodge be builthe had something altogether more grand in mind.
The Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi is an excessive building, extravagant and splendid at the same time. The main palace broadly circles an 'inner' courtyard, which itself is reached from a larger open garden area and between two massive wings on the palace. There is nothing small scale about Stupinigi!
Less clear from ground level when you visit, the four aisles that radiate from the heart (in the form of a Cross of Saint Andrew) of the main building are set to point in the directions of the different hunting routes.
Many of the enormous rooms within the 'lodge' - you will see libraries, galleries, salons, private apartments, the King and Queens chambers etc during your visit - are decorated with paintings, trompe loeil, fine furniture and magnificent tapestries.
The central 'salon' is the centerpiece of a visit. This high and expansive room incorporates numerous frescoes and various trompe l'oeil effects to further accentuate the grandeur.
Within the palace there are also a large number of rooms that form part of a museum dedicated to 17th and 18th century furnishings, the Museum of Art and Furniture, collected from across the Piedmont region.
The palace is also surrounded by impressive formal gardens and is in a very pleasant setting - the surroundng area is now designated as the Stupinigi Natural Park.
Full price entrance to Stupinigi was around 10 euros at the time of our visit.