Turin Parks and Gardens
(Turin, Piedmont, Italy)
Turin has the reputation of being one of the greenest cities in Europe, boasting some 25 parks. As well as shady piazzas, tree-lined boulevards, small gardens and public parks, Turin also has some notably vast green spaces which are well worth a visit. These include the historic Parco del Valentino and the Pellerina, reputed to be the largest city park in Italy.
Many of Turin's parks and gardens are located along the banks of the four rivers that run through the city, offering a place in which to enjoy peace and quiet. Visitors can also admire some 85 different tree species that line park avenues and the city's boulevards.
Parco del Valentino
Address: Corso Massimo D'Azeglio, Turin, Italy, IT
This vast park on the banks of Turin's River Po is one of the city's oldest green spaces. The Parco del Valentino offers a perfect place to picnic, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city. The park was first opened to the public in the mid-19th century as a romantic garden. As well as meadows, miniature woods, a rock garden and rose beds, the park comprises a castle and a medieval village. The latter was constructed originally for the Turin International Exhibition of 1884. Open-air shows and cinema screenings are frequently held here during the summer.
Open hours: daily
Riserva Naturale Speciale del Bosco del Vaj
Address: Via Alessandria 2, Castagneto Po, Turin, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 011 912 462
This nature reserve is located to the north-east of Turin and extends over a wide area. An interesting variety of flora and fauna make this a great place to take the whole family. A tourist information point is located a few minutes' walk from the park itself. In particular, look out for the Church of San Genisio within the Riserva Naturale Speciale del Bosco del Vaj, which is one of the oldest buildings in the area.
Open hours: daily
Orto Botanico (Botanic Gardens)
Address: Viale P.A. Mattioli, 25, Turin, Italy, IT
The glorious Botanic Gardens, known locally in Italian as the 'Orto Botanico' have been part of the city's university since the 18th century. As well as 500-year-old flowerbeds, the gardens boast an orangery, greenhouse and museum, complete with herbarium. An artificial 'hill', built in the 1960s, is home to a collection of rock plants.
Open hours: end-April to end-September, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays - 09:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:00 (guided visits)
Admission: charge, discount available for children
I Giardini Reali
Address: Piazza Castello 189, Turin, Italy, IT
These Royal Gardens were the handiwork of André Le Notre in the 16th century. Built in the French style, and enclosed within the Royal Palace complex itself, the garden's central feature is the Fountain of the Naiads and Tritons. The fountain is said to have magical powers.
Open hours: daily, December to February - 08:00 to 19:00; March to November - 08:00 to 16:00
Parco della Rimembranza
Venture south-east of Turin, into the La Collina district favoured by the city's wealthy, and you will come across this beautiful park, complete with trails, playgrounds, and stunning views. Some 10,000 trees were planted within the Parco della Rimembranza, in memory of Turin's fallen in World War One. A statue of Victoria also stands watch over the park.
Open hours: daily
Parco Regionale La Mandria
North of Turin centre, La Mandria is truly vast. In fact, the park is surrounded by some 30 km / 18 miles of wall, within which can be found ancient farmsteads and hunting lodges once used by the Savoy royal family. There are number of alternative ways of exploring the park. Visitors can follow marked trails on foot or rented bicycle. It's also possible to board a tourist train, which travels around the major points of interest within Turin's Parco Regionale La Mandria. An information centre is located at the park's entrance.
Open hours: daily, November to mid-February - 08:00 to 17:00; mid-February to end-February - 08:00 to 18:00; March - 08:00 to 19:00; April to mid-September - 08:00 to 20:00; mid-September to October - 08:00 to 19:00