Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Valentino Castle (Castello del Valentino) is one of Turin’s most noteworthy landmarks. Situated in the Parco del Valentino and a former House of Savoy royal residence, the castle is today used by the local university and is occasionally open to the public.The Basics
Though its history dates back as early as the 13th century, the version of Castello del Valentino that stands today was commissioned by Christine of France in 1620. Renovated and enlarged by architects Carlo di Castellamonte, Amedeo di Castellamonte, and Domenico Ferri, the UNESCO-listed palace was a residence for royal members of the House of Savoy until the 19th century, when it was used to house a veterinary school and military barracks. Today, Castello del Valentino—which is poised just overlooking the River Po—hosts Turin Polytechnic departments. Its lavish interior is no less impressive than its grand facade.
Castello del Valentino can be admired during relaxing bike itineraries or customized Turin tours and makes a scenic backdrop for Valentine Park (Parco del Valentino) picnics. The landmark is also open to the public several days each month.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Castello del Valentino is equipped with elevators, though wheelchair users may find it difficult to navigate the uneven cobblestones in its central courtyard.
- Italian-language tours are offered twice daily and must be reserved online at least eight days in advance; English-languages tours for groups of 15 or more are available on request.
- Pets, strollers, umbrellas, luggage, backpacks, electronic cigarettes, bottles, and cans are all prohibited on-site.
Castello del Valentino is just a 15-minute walk from Turin’s main train station. It can also be reached by trams 9, 16CD, and 16CS and bus 299. Alternatively, travel by taxi or by bike.When to Get There
Castello del Valentino is open to the public on the first, second, and third Saturdays of the month, except during the month of August and during national holidays and other institutional events. Italian-language tours are offered daily at 10am and 1pm.Botanical Garden of the University of Turin
The castle grounds are also host to the Botanical Garden of the University of Turin (Orto Botanico dell'Università di Torino). Dating back to 1729, today the historical garden cultivates upwards of 2,000 plant species. The garden, which is typically open to the public from April to October, requires an entry fee separate from the palace.