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Palazzo Chiablese is situated on the west side of Piazza Castello, connecting with the Church of San Lorenzo.

It was constructed by Ascanio Vittozzi during the square’s renovation works commissioned by Emanuele Filiberto. Likely replacing ancient medieval buildings, the initial owners of the palace were Francesco Martinengo di Malpaga and his wife, who received it as a gift from the duke.

In the 17th century, the palace reverted to ducal ownership and served as a venue for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini on several occasions. It was also where the weddings of Carlo Emanuele I’s daughters took place.

Starting from 1642, the palace became the residence of Cardinal Maurizio di Savoia. However, after leaving his priestly attire and marrying Vittorio Amedeo I’s daughter, he preferred to live on the hill in the Vigna (now known as Villa della Regina).

While few traces remain from the 16th and 17th centuries, the palace underwent significant modernization in more recent times.

Palazzo Chiablese
Palazzo Chiablese

Palazzo Chiablese

In 1753, Duke Carlo Emanuele III bestowed the palace upon his third wife’s son, Benedetto Maurizio di Savoia, Duke of Chiablese. Subsequently, Benedetto Alfieri undertook a complete transformation of the original building, giving it its current appearance. Furthermore, Alfieri added a monumental entrance gate on the side facing the cathedral. Through this gate, one enters a porticoed atrium and two inner courtyards. Moreover, a marble staircase leads to the apartments. Additionally, Alfieri oversaw stucco work and interior decorations, including exquisite tapestries woven in Paris.

During the reign of his brother, Vittorio Amedeo III, the importance of the Duke of Chiablese within the kingdom diminished significantly. Consequently, the arrival of Napoleon’s troops forced him to flee to Sardinia and later to Rome, where he passed away in 1808.

Palazzo Chiablese
Palazzo Chiablese

Under Napoleon’s rule, the palace was inhabited by Paolina Bonaparte and her husband, the general governor of the transalpine departments.

Following the Restoration of 1814, the palace returned to the possession of the widow Chiablese, who bequeathed it to her brother, King Carlo Felice of Sardinia, in 1824.

Carlo Felice, choosing to reside at Palazzo Chiablese rather than Palazzo Reale, eventually passed away there in 1831. Subsequent to his passing, the palace then passed to Ferdinando di Savoia, Duke of Genoa, the second son of Carlo Alberto.

Notably, it was also at Palazzo Chiablese that the wedding of Maria Elisabetta of Saxony and Ferdinando took place in 1850. A mere year later, in 1851, Margherita of Savoy, the first queen of Italy, was born there.

Palazzo Chiablese
Palazzo Chiablese

The palace today

Today, the palace remains the property of the Dukes of Genoa until the Second World War, when they abandoned it. The structure and interior decorations suffered severe damage during the war due to bombings.

Since 1946, the palace has been under public ownership. It currently houses two superintendencies and is occasionally used for exhibitions. The visitable rooms are primarily furnished with original pieces recovered from various storage locations. Notably, there is an exceptional drop-front desk by Pietro Piffetti, which was retrieved by the Carabinieri in 2018.

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