The Gala Boat (Peota di Gala), is today part of the City Museum of Ancient Art collection. Charles Emmanuael III had this boat built for performances and leisure activities along the river Po in 1730.
Originally the word “peota” referred to a large gala boat used in Venice for entertainment, feasts, and canal parades. A Father Cristoforo Maria Ceccati was appointed by the king as a supervisor for the boat construction. The 16m long boat is enriched by carving in golden wood by Matteo Calderoni; the helm was made by a Monsieur Egidio. The boat sides are covered with friezes showing sea gods and goddesses; on the ship bow the rivers Po and Adige are side by side of a graceful Narcissus, while astern two sea horses raise from the helm side. The boat is enriched by beautiful painting inside the middle compartment housing the royal sailors. Their subjects include the meeting between pope Nicholas V and Amedeo VIII of Savoy; a warrior; the defence of Rhodes; Arts and Sciences; and further miscellaneous topics.
The boat was shipped from Venice to Turin along the river and her journey lasted quite long. On 30th June, 1730 the boat was completed and ready to leave Venice: Charles Emmanuel III officially applied for the authorization to cross the borders to the Governments the boat was supposed to go through.
Once in Turin, as of 1731, the Boat was used on at least three celebrations of royal weddings, then donated by Victor Emmanuel II to the city of Turin in 1873, where she was placed within a shed specifically built for her at the location of the City Museum, via Gaudenzio Ferrari 1, on display for the public.
The Boat was kept within a room at the ground floor of Palazzo Madama, known as Atrio (hall) or Salone Voltato (Vaulted Room). Since 2000 she is kept within a temporary storage at the restoration laboratory Laboratorio Nicola Restauri of Aramengo (Asti). The Consulta will finance her transportation costs - which is scheduled for next September – and the restoration of the Boat by the restoration centre Centro Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale.