Valentino Park (Parco del Valentino)
Flanked by the west bank of the River Po, and in between the Isabella Bridge and the Umberto I Bridge, Valentino Park was once a hunting ground for the royal Savoy family. The park was opened in 1630 and was the city’s first public garden. A French landscape architect redesigned parts of it in 1864. Valentino is the second-largest park in Turin, measuring around 135 acres (55 hectares). It is filled with history and an array of plant life, offering a peaceful escape from the busy city.
A popular cycle path, jogging route and picnic destination, Valentino Park is beautiful when the sun is shining in the summer months or when the snow creates a winter wonderland. Discover numerous fountains scattered throughout the park. The Twelve Months Fountain is the most beautiful of them all, especially in winter when it sometimes freezes.
Visit a garden within a garden at Turin’s Botanical Gardens, which are attached to Valentino Castle and owned by the Department of Vegetal Biology of Turin University. The crisp geometric designs are quite different from the rest of Valentino Park. This is the second largest herbarium in Italy.
Stroll to the park’s Rock Garden for great photo opportunities. Created in 1961 and since expanded, the Rock Garden contains many flowers, streams and fountains in addition to rocks in its 11-acre (4.4-hectare) space.
Walk along the River Po to the impressive Medieval Village, an authentic reconstruction of a 15th-century Piedmontese village. Designed in 1884 for the International Exhibition of Turin, the village contains drawbridges, narrow streets and portico houses. Marvel at the engineering involved as you enjoy the reflections below the banks of the river next to the site.
You’ll find several good café options in the village, which is free to enter every day of the week. The area is particularly beautiful from a distance when park and village lights are switched on in the evening.
Valentino Park is free to the public and open daily. It is recommended to visit during the day only, when the park is well lit.