JUST A SHORT DIS­TANCE FROM THE CITY…

Where Milan - - WHERE NOW FOCUS -

Lo­cated about half an hour from the cen­tre of the city, in an el­e­gant, pro­vin­cial town that was once a sought-af­ter hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, in Monza you'll find an­other Royal Res­i­dence, sur­rounded by a mar­velous park, which is well worth a visit. Built be­tween 1777 and 1780 as the sum­mer home of Arch­duke Fer­di­nand of Aus­tria, the gover­nor of Lom­bardy, Villa Reale soon be­came the sum­mer head­quar­ters of the gov­ern­ment, which moved its op­er­a­tions here dur­ing the warmer weather. The mas­ter­mind be­hind the orig­i­nal project was Giuseppe Pier­marini, who built a ‘U-shaped' build­ing around a court of hon­our, flanked by rus­tic build­ings ar­ranged around a court­yard, with ‘Ital­ianate' gar­dens, or­chards and green­houses in the front and ‘French' and ‘English' gar­dens at the back. Fol­low­ing the Uni­fi­ca­tion of Italy, dur­ing the se­cond half of the 19th cen­tury, the Villa be­came the favourite res­i­dence of crown prince Um­berto of Savoy and his wife. How­ever, on 29 July 1900, Um­berto, who had as­cended to the throne af­ter his fa­ther's death, tak­ing the ti­tle of Um­berto I, was mur­dered by an an­ar­chist just a few me­tres from his home. Af­ter his death, Queen Margherita and her fam­ily aban­doned the res­i­dence for­ever. To­day, Monza's Villa Reale is used as a cen­tre for ex­hi­bi­tions and cul­tural events, while its mag­nif­i­cent park is one of Italy's best loved and largest, green spa­ces in the re­gion. A year ago, on 25 March 2017, more than a mil­lion peo­ple flocked here to at­tend a mass cel­e­brated by Pope Fran­cis, the charis­matic head of the Catholic church.

www.vil­larealed­i­monza.it

Villa Reale di Monza

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