Moncalieri was founded in 1228 by some inhabitants of Testona (now a frazione of the comune of Moncalieri) as a refuge from the assaults from Chieri. The easy access to the Po River and the bridge (a Templar possession for a long time) that it commanded granted a certain flourishing to the city, which became a free comune and housed a number of monastic institutions.
In the 17th century it was acquired by the House of Savoy, whose members often lived in their castle here during the summer. During the unification of Italy it was the site of the famous Proclamation of Moncalieri. Having mantained its tradition as a summer resort, today Moncalieri is also home to many high technology companies.
The castle is one of the Savoy Residences listed as a World Heritage Site. It hosts since 1919 a prestigious carabinieri school.
Close to the castle, the descending square of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II was in the past the major centre for the Moncalieri activities. Its cobbled pavement was built back in 1825, and a sculpture-fountain of Neptune (Il Saturnio) can be found in the top part of it. For aesthetic as well as practical reasons, the Neptune fountain was several times moved back and forth. A small passage connects this square to the prestigious Real Collegio Carlo Alberto, school aimed for aristocratic descendants.