The Royal Palace takes its name from its 19th- to early-20th-century tenants, the Royal House of Savoy, who greatly altered the 17th-century palace built for the Balbi family. The Savoys endowed the sumptuous surroundings with ostentatious frippery, covered with elaborate 17th- and 18th-century stuccowork and frescoes, most in evidence in the hall of mirrors, the ballroom, and the throne room. The rooms are filled with the dusty accouterments of the Italian royalty who once lived here (or at least used it as a home when they occasionally passed through), and a lot of paintings by relative nobodies interspersed with a few by Tintoretto, Luca Giordano (in the crushed velvet throne room), and Van Dyck. The English placards explaining each room will help you identify them.
- © Frommer's 2013
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