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Parks and Gardens


The Gardens of the Regal Palace of Turin
The Gardens of the Regal Palace of Turin are undoubtedly one of the most interesting places in the town, for their vegetable property and for their historical, cultural and artistic value.

Projected in 1697 by Andre Le Notre, "father" of the Versailles' park, they were realized for the pleasure of the Regent Maria Cristina of France, wife of the duke Vittorio Amedeo I.

In their actual arrangement, they are the result of a complicated process of historical stratification happened throughout the centuries, which led this town's area to assume a very different aspect in comparison to the period of their original creation.

Presently they often house summer concerts and several appointments.

  • Address: Viale Primo Maggio, Torino

Burcina Park
The Burcina Park was created during the second half of the 18th century, but for some aspects it is similar to the park model of the 17th century, those which the garden history experts define "paesistic".

In fact, the composition which takes form along the hill side is distinguished by the informality in the vegetable's disposition, by the naturalness of some compositions, by the balance between wooden mass and fields, but above all, by the total involvement of the garden in the landscape.

This involvement happens through the absence of separation elements: the park dilutes in the surrounding environment through several stratagems.

First of all, the garden acquires as we go towards the borders characters of more naturalness; than, the effect is increased by the continuous views on dominant elements in the landscape (mountains, the morenic hill of the Serra, the plain); but above all, it assumes in the garden internal some elements of the human rustic landsacpe such as the farmstead, the lawn, domestic animals which take part to the park's life.

  • Address: organization of the management of the special wildlife reserve of the Burcina Park ``Felice Piacenza''
  • Cascina Emilia - 13814 Pollone (BI)
  • Info: tel: +39 015 2563007
  • fax: +39 015 2563914
  • email: parcoburcina@libero.it

Valentino's Park
The Valentino's Park has a surface of about 500,000 sq.m. and is located along the Po's shores behind the hill, between the monumental bridge of King Umberto I and the Princess Isabella Bridge.

It is situated near the city center and is about one kilometre far from the central station of Porta Nuova.

The origin of the name Valentino is uncertain: the first testimony is represented by a document which dates backe to 1275, where the name Valentinium appears. Someone traces its name back to Saint Valentin, because the relics of this young saint, martyr of 12th century, were conservated in a little church near the park, before it was destroyed in 17th century and the relics moved to the Saint Vito Church.

The park was created in 1630 under the project of Carlo Cognengo of Castellamonte; it was later kept on until 1660 by his son Amedeo and in 1864 it was in part redrawn by the French Barillet, with a better arrangement of avenues, woods, artificial little valleys and a little lake later dried up, which in winter was used as a "patinoire".

At Valentino there were the great International Expositions of 1884, 1898, 1902, 1911, 1928.

For the Exposition of 1961, between the Medieval District and the complex of Turin Exposition, a flowered little valley through which passed streams and with many flowerbeds was redrawn and created, and on its side there is a rocky garden; in this area in 1965 a rose garden was built and later enlarged for the floral exposition Flor92.

In the Valentino Park there are many buildings of historical importance: the Valentino's Castle, the medieval District and Fortress, the complex of Turin Exposition (valuable demonstrations seat), the Villa of the Beaux Arts Society, Glicini (seat of the Turin fencing Club) and the Botanic Vegetable Plot, seat of the Vegetable Biology Department of the University of Turin and one of the main Italian botanic studies center.

The Botanical Garden of Turin is placed along the left shore of the Po, in the Valentino Park. The Botanical garden and the botanic chair in the Medicine Faculty floating answered to a modernization necessity of scientific culture and teaching: there was the necessity to individuate on scientific bases which were the "simples" really provided with medical proprieties that were really useful and effective, in the complex traditional corpus often to the limit of fantasy and superstition.

Only with following experts and researchers such as Vitaliano Donati and Carlo Ludovico Allioni, an important sector begings: the one which concerns researches directed to the knowledge of the flora of the regions which constituted the territories of the kingdom.

This sector encouraged the applications interests and contributed to the foundation of the Agriculture Academy and to the private botanical gardens systems, always connected with the botanical garden for aspects concerning experimentation and collection of types of different origin.

The entire history of the plants which were studied here is in the 65 volums of the Taurinensis Iconography which has 7,640 watercolour plates painted between 1752 and 1868. Greenhouses, garden and wood, scientific laboratories and the well-provided library (500.000 volums) with the most important collection of Italian magazines of the kind give to the botanical garden of Turin an international importance.

  • Address: Viale Virgilio, Torino
  • Info: tel. +39 011 4431701/02
  • fax. +39 011 4431719

Ruffini Park
The Ruffini Park was projected during the '20s and opened on 3rd December 1925.
The first decades of 19th century were characterized by the intensive industrialization of Saint Paolo's District and surroundings: farmhouses and vegetable polts were substituted by industrial sheds and working houses.

Vincenzo Lancia takes up a considerable zone with his buildings of his car industry, and near it there are many laboratories and workshops. The industrial development implies a parallel demographic increase and the district is enriched by houses, schools, services.

There is now a need for an area for the whole community, where it is possible to walk through the nature which is disappearing.

In this light, it is conceived the idea of a park, a "new Valentino" which is able to satisfy the demand.
The Gerolamo Napoleone Bonaparte Park (this is its original name) was developped on the territory of a famous Galizian farmstead which belonged to the Galizianos, an ancient family native from Como arrived to Turin in 16th century, which made their fortune with the "ferrarecce" business.

Later on, the Galiziano had a financial collapse because of the many investments in real estate; the lands of the farmstead suffered a long period of oblivion, and then they became the center of the park project.

Delivered to the citizenry in 1934, this green oasis housed (from 1937 to the second post-war period) a heliotherapic colony and a swimming pool which became the greatest attractives in the area.

In this period the stadium was build, recently titled in the memory of Primo Nebiolo, and a pavilion used as a day nursery.

During the Second World War, Turin suffered devastating air raids; to offer a refuge for the population, the Civic tecnical Service created, within the stadium, a public underground shelter, 12m deep and 50m large, with a ventilation, lighting system, toilet block and drinking water, so that it could guarantee a suitable refuge for 1500 people during the air raids.

In 1945, the Bonaparte Park changed its name and it was dedicated to the famous jurist, ex minister and University professor Francesco Ruffini who, during the Fascist period, didn't pledge to the regime and refused to teach in the fascist spirit.

In 1960, during the celebrations of the centenary of the Union of Italy, the Indoor Sport Arena was projected and built.

This building, projected by the famous architect Pier Luigi Nervi, from 1961 to nowadays housed many sport manifestations and celebrated, between 1970 and 1980, the deeds of the legendary volleyball team of Turin, Italian and European champion.

It's not only the landmark for professional and delightful sports, but the Indoor Sport Arena also houses many concerts of the main Italian singers-songwriters and many international rock and pop bands.

In the last fourty years, the Ruffini has been increased and made internally pedestrian.

It was enriched by numerous services for sports and free time and in 1985 there was installed a luminous fountain on the lawn in front of Hughes's Avenue.

Since 1998, in the intern of the stadium Primo Nebiolo, the park houses the film manifestation Arena Ruffini; rowdy celebration which gladdens the summer evenings of the citizens of Turin.

To remember even the Days of Sport manifestation.

In summer 2001, the first edition of the ambiental making aware party took place, and it was defined "Ambientando", whose purpose is to approach the citizenry at the several ecological themes.

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