Initially built as a fortress in the Marca of Turin in the 11th century, Racconigi Castle passed into the hands of the Marquises of Saluzzo and then the Savoy family. In the 17th century, with the elevation of the castle to a royal residence, André Le Nôtre designed the garden and Guarino Guarini undertook a complete renovation of the building, which was never completed. Starting in 1755, on the wishes of Prince Luigi di Savoia-Carignano, the architect Giambattista Borra rebuilt the castle, adding pavilions, a large pronaos, a hall with the "loggia of the musicians", a Diana room and the Chinese Cabinets. It was only with the accession to the throne of Carlo Alberto, Prince of Carignano, that the residence took on its current form: in 1820, Xavier Kurten redesigned the green spaces, while Pelagio Palagi decorated and redecorated the interiors, displaying an eclectic-neoclassical taste, well represented by rooms such as the Etruscan Cabinet. At the same time, service buildings in neo-Gothic style, such as the Serre and the Margaria, were built on the edge of the park to manage the castle grounds in an agricultural way. With the transfer of the capital from Turin to Florence (1865) and then to Rome (1871), the royal family gradually lost interest in the castle, until the early 20th century, when King Vittorio Emanuele III turned it back into a holiday resort. Acquired in 1980 by the Italian State, the castle overlooks the large Royal Park, which is open at certain times. In the 17th century, to the north of the palace was Le Nôtre's harmonious garden, while in the 18th century Josephine of Lorraine had part of the park transformed into an "English-style" garden. In the 19th century, in conjunction with the work on the residence, the park was extended and transformed by Xavier Kurten, with winding paths, a lake with a small island, bridges, caves, picturesque buildings and ever-changing perspectives. In the postwar period, due to lack of maintenance, the park found itself in a state of neglect. After restoration, it now presents itself to visitors in the same appearance as Kurten gave it in the 19th century, with a wide variety of protected plant and animal species, and hosting cultural activities and events.