Royal Villa of Monza, a neoclassical palace to be discovered

The Royal Villa of Monza, also known as the Royal Palace of Monza, is one of the main monuments of the Lombard city, together with the Cathedral. A jewel of neoclassical architecture, signed by Piermarini, which has nothing to envy to the more noble Regge of Caserta and Versailles. Furthermore, the royal palace is surrounded by the magnificent Monza Park, the largest fenced green area in Europe, capable of housing the Monza National Circuit.

There are few in the world who do not know, at least by reputation, the Royal Palace of Caserta or the Palace of Versailles. Much less known, however, is the Reggia di Monza , also known as the Royal Villa . Yet, the imposing and elegant Brianza palace has nothing to envy to the other two famous royal residences. Indeed, the sumptuous park that surrounds it is the largest in Europe , among those fenced (so much so that it houses the Autodromo Nazionale Monza ). Therefore, if you spend a few days of vacation in Monza , you must necessarily plan a visit to the Royal Villa, which offers a truly unique show. And this article is a good opportunity to get to know her a little better and take note of the essential tourist information.

History and architecture of the Royal Villa of Monza, Piermarini’s masterpiece

Let’s start this short virtual journey to discover the Royal Palace of Monza by scrolling through the fundamental stages of its history. The Royal Villa was built in the second half of the 1700s , more precisely between 1777 and 1780 . The project bears the signature of Giuseppe Piermarini , a famous architect of the time and a leading exponent of neoclassicism . The imposing construction was commissioned by Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg and his mother Maria Theresa of Austria . The building, in fact, was used as a country residence of the royal dynasty, at least until 1796, the year of the descent into Italy of the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte . At that point, the luxurious residence passed into the hands of the French emperor’s stepson, Eugene of Beauharnais . It was, however, only a parenthesis. On the fall of Napoleon, in 1818, the Royal Palace returned to the Austrians.

In the second half of the 1800s, the Villa changed owners again. After the annexation of the Lombard Venetian to Piedmont, in fact, the owners became the Savoy family and was particularly loved by King Umberto I , who elected it as his summer residence and subjected it to profound renovations and transformations . The monarch was even buried there, after being killed by Gaetano Bresci. At that point, however, the Villa was linked to a tragic and sad event, which made it fall into disuse. Vittorio Emanuele II , in fact, no longer wanted to reside there and had part of the furnishings transported to the Quirinal palaces in Rome. The royal ownership of the Villa ceased definitively in 1934, when it was donated to the municipalities of Milan and Monza .

The external aspect

The Villa of Monza has the characteristic U shape , typical of the royal palaces of the 1700s. The style of the facade is linear and essential and has simple decorations , which give it an elegant but rigorous aspect , without colonnades or gables. The choice was not only dictated by stylistic needs but also by precise political choices of the Austrian court. Italy, in fact, was an occupied territory and the Habsburg emperors did not want to give the idea of flaunting arrogant wealth to their subjects.


The first floor of the Royal Villa is occupied by the reception rooms, the party rooms and the one used for lunches. The second floor , on the other hand, is dedicated to the bedrooms of gifts and guests. The different halls and rooms (a total of 740 , for a total area of over 22,000 square meters) are decorated with gilded stuccoes, paintings and frescoes. Unfortunately, the troubled final phase of use of the Royal Palace of Monza by the Savoy has meant that the palace is now practically emptied of the original furnishings , which were of absolute value.

The gardens

The Gardens of the Royal Villa of Monza represent one of the main attractions. They extend over an area of about 40 hectares and are organized in the English style . The apparent spontaneity of the arrangement and vegetation is instead the result of precise and measured choices by Piermarini. Inside the Gardens, you can appreciate numerous characteristic elements and glimpses, such as the pond , the classic temple , the rock garden and the Antro di Polyphemus .

Also discover the Monza Park, which surrounds the Royal Villa

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden of the Villa Reale was commissioned by Nino Fumagalli and designed by Vittorio Faglia and Francesco Clerici . It is divided into several sections, depending on the types of roses that are grown. There are over 400 varieties , some of which are grown to be presented in international competitions.

The Belvedere

The Belvedere is the top floor of the Palace , once home to the servants’ apartments and for this reason characterized by low ceilings and rather spartan environments. From up there, however, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Monza Park .

Il Serrone (or Orangerie)

Originally, the Royal Villa housed numerous greenhouses , as evidenced by the documents of the time. Only one, however, has reached today intact and it is precisely the Orangerie, that is the one destined for citrus fruits . 100 meters long, 6 wide and 7 high, the structure is equipped with 26 large windows that guarantee sunlight throughout the day .

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Short guide to the Royal Palace of Monza: practical information to visit it

Given the many beauties that it holds, it is clear that you cannot spend a weekend in Monza or Milan without taking a trip to the wonderful Villa Reale. The following, therefore, are simple indications to better organize the visit.

Where is the Villa Reale located?

The Royal Villa is located in the northern part of Monza and is not very far from the historic center. For example, on foot, the Royal Palace is just over a quarter of an hour from the Duomo. The exact address of the entrance is Via Brianza 1.

How much does the entrance ticket cost to visit the Palace?

The full ticket to access the Royal Villa of Monza costs 10 euros. There is also a reduced rate of 8 euros for visitors between the ages of 3 and 26, for those over 65 and for holders of the Monza tourist passport . Free admission, on the other hand, is reserved for children under 3 years old, disabled people with a companion, qualified tourist guides, journalists with ID cards and military personnel from the Command for the protection of Cultural Heritage. Access to the Gardens, on the other hand, is always free.

When can you visit the Royal Villa of Monza: opening and closing times

The Royal Villa can be visited only on Saturdays and Sundays, with opening at 10.30 and closing at 18.30 (last admission at 17.30). The Gardens of the Palace, on the other hand, are open every day from 7.00 am to 6.30 pm in winter and from 7.00 am to 8.30 pm in summer.

How to book the visit

Entrance tickets to the Palace can be purchased directly at the ticket office, located on the ground floor. However, it is recommended to book online (at this link ) or by telephone (at 039 394641).

Where to park

The Royal Villa and the Monza Park are served by two paid parking lots (Viale Cavriga and Porta Vedano) and by a free parking area.

Where to eat at the Royal Villa of Monza

The Royal Palace is located in an area of the city of Monza well stocked with restaurants and places to eat, with solutions suitable for all palates and affordable costs.

The next events hosted in the Royal Villa

The Palace often hosts events for adults and children, from art exhibitions to initiatives related to cinema. The complete program of upcoming events is available here .

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