The Villa Reale It’s one of the most beautiful European Royal Villas, whose Park is larger than that of Versailles. It was built at the wish of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria for her son, the Archduke of Milan Ferdinand I of Habsburg, which resolved to organise a proper court that would have gravitated around Milan, turning it permanently into the capital. It followed the typical model of Lombard country homes, in rational neo-classical style, with a C-shaped layout and a central reception block.

The imperial architect, Giuseppe Piermarini, was appointed to construct the Villa in 1777. It was inspired by the Reggia of Caserta and was completed in only three years and was used as a country residence until the arrival of the Napoleonic army in 1796. The Villa was part of a wider reform project, conceived by Ferdinand, aimed partly towards political-administrative matters, but also involved a reuse of many spaces and a “system of Royal Residences”.

The Villa fell under the hands of Napoleonic domain, then back in Austrian hands, and knew some others vicissitudes until it resumed its original role of summer residence becoming a favourite residence of Umberto I of Savoia. The sovereign commissioned the architect Majnoni to decorate, restore and improve it according to the taste of the time, therefore, many parts of the Villa were radically transformed. In 1900, Umberto was assassinated at Monza and because of that, Vittorio Emanuele III preferred not to use the Villa. He ordered its closure and transferred most of the furnitures to the Quirinale in Rome.

In 1934 the Villa was donated via a Royal Decree to the municipalities of Monza and Milan, but after the war it suffered occupations and plundering, falling into a ruinous state.

Today the Royal Villa of Monza is owned by the city of Monza, the region of Lombardy and the State and, after several interventions of restoration and enhancement of the building and gardens, it was opened to the public to allow locals and tourists to enjoy a unique architectural example that has nothing to envy to the most beautiful palaces in Europe.
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