The Royal Library, established by King Carlo Alberto of Savoy-Carignano (1798-1849), located on the ground floor of the east wing of Palazzo Reale, fits into the elegant setting created in 1837 by court architect Pelagio Palagi and primarily brings together historical works of the Savoy states and historical sciences.
It preserves medieval illuminated manuscripts – of which the lavish missals of Duke Amedeo VIII are exquisite examples – elegant portolan charts, rare incunabula, the magnificent ballet albums drawn by Giovanni Tommaso Borgonio, and 17th century Nature atlases - quite unique for their content and quality – belonging to Duke Carlo Emanuele I. The Theatrum Sabaudiae, published in Amsterdam in 1682, bears witness to the desire of the Dukes of Savoy to entrust to a printed volume the task of spreading the magnificence of the capital, the residences and their territory represented in colour plates of strong visual impact.
Of exceptional value is the Library’s graphic collection, acquired by King Carlo Alberto in 1839, consisting of drawings by distinguished Italian and foreign masters from the 15th to 18th centuries and made extraordinary by the presence of thirteen sheets autographed by Leonardo da Vinci. Since 1998, the Leonardo Room, instituted with the contribution of the Committee for the Enhancement of the Artistic and Cultural Heritage of Turin, has exhibited the precious bibliographic and historic-artistic material in its possession on a rotation basis designed to make the most of this priceless collection.
Mondays to Fridays: 8.15 a.m. – 6.45 p.m.; Saturdays: 8.15 a.m. – 1.45 p.m.
Closed: Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
BIBLIOTECA REALE (ROYAL LIBRARY)
Piazza Castello, 191
10122 - Turin
Tel. +39 011 543855
Fax +39 011 5178259