The vertical connections between the various floors of the Castello has been a recurring theme in the castle’s renovations: Michelangelo Garove replaced the Castellamonte stairs with two pairs of stairs in the pavilions for use by servants, while Juvarra planned a grand stairway; we see this in the plans but it was never built. Carlo Randoni designed a stairway in a single space as a temporary measure while awaiting the completion planned in the early 18th century.
With the arrival of the soldiers, on top of the first floor there was a system of gangways and stairs in iron and wood. The present stairs were designed by Andrea Bruno and arose from the new requirements for access resulting from the current use of the Castello; the first part was in reinforced concrete running along the walls as far as the first floor – the same route as adopted by Randoni’s temporary stairs – recalled by some marble features in the entry flooring and by the traces incised into the plaster reproducing the pilaster decoration and steps of the former stairs.
DID YOU KNOW?
THE GAROVE STAIRS
Michelangelo Garove, Engineer to his Royal Highness, was responsible for the restoration of the Castello di Rivoli as of 1699; the castle was severely damaged by the passage of the French armies, both in the 1690s and after the siege of Turin in 1706. He also drew up a plan to enlarge the residence, a commission he had also received for the Venaria Reale.
Among the parts that he designed and which still exist at Rivoli are the stairs with double crossover ramps within the “Pavilions”, built between 1713 and 1715, when Garove was already dead.
The project foresaw the construction of two matching, independent ramps in a single stairwell, on to which opened the openings to the various floors. A similar project were Leonardo da Vinci’s “schale docpie”, planned “una per lo chastellano , l’atra per i provisionari” (“one for the lord, the other for the domestics”).
These stairs, used by the servants, were accessible via a single entrance and were invisible from outside. Even though they were only secondary features in the residence, they received particular attention from Garove as regards their simple decoration and originality of design.