A perfect destination for a day outdoors, enjoying a walk across groves and along pathways discovering historical marvels
19 Jan 2021
Turin’s Palazzo Reale was an old and prestigious centre of power of the House of Savoy for three centuries. Part of the UNESCO heritage since 1997, this palace majestically overlooking Piazza Castello has been designed and adorned by famous artists. At the back of the palace are the Giardini Reali, the Royal Gardens, a green area of unique monumental and environmental value, perfect for a Sunday walk with family and friends without having to leave the city.
The Gardens cover an area of about seven hectares and in 1997, following the tragic fire that hit the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, they were fully restored and reopened to the public. Let’s discover the wonders of these time-honoured Gardens and the highlights you must make sure not to miss during your visit.
The Garden of the Duke and its fountain
This is the earliest area of the Royal Gardens, at the centre of which there is a beautiful fountain with gushing water whose design is based on original historical drawings. The edge of the fountain basin is made with granite stone slabs sourced from the stone caves that Guarino Guarini chose in the seventeenth century for the marbles he used to decorate the Chapel of the Holy Shroud.
The Grove and its precious stones
The Grove, restored and renovated by architect Paolo Pejrone, pairs its great trees with newly planted undergrowth: a thick layer of shade-loving plants, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation creating a captivating play of light and shade combined with the great orthogonal pathways defining the space in great regular flowerbeds. Inside the Grove there is the permanent installation entitled Pietre Preziose (Precious Stones) by Giulio Paolini made using the original marbles from the Chapel of the Holy Shroud damaged by the fire.
The City Walls and the “Garittone”
The Royal Gardens are delimited by Turin’s old city walls along which there is the “Garittone” also known as the Bastion Verde (Green Bastion) that was erected in the late seventeenth century for defensive and military purposes, with a French style sloping roof. From this miroir you can picture being like a Madame Royale enjoying the view of the valley beyond the city walls.
The Garden of the Arts and the Lower Gardens
The Garden of the Arts features an orthogonal pattern of pathways and green areas designed by André Le Nôtre, the illustrious creator of the Gardens of Versailles. The slight incline of the central pathway defines a spectacular perspective leading to the Fountain of Nereids and Tritons with mythological figures amidst playful jets of water.
Lastly in the Lower Gardens, that are separated from the upper Royal Gardens by the city walls, you’ll discover the building that was once used as Royal Greenhouse or Orangery and that today is home to the famous Archaeological Museum.
One extra bonus: The Royal Armoury
Another feature of the Royal Gardens is the Royal Armoury. The idea to create a museum dedicated to collections of arms and armour dates back to the end of 1832 when Carlo Alberto, after founding the “Royal Picture Gallery” started to gather the arms owned by the House of Savoy in the Beaumont Gallery. The Armoury also includes Carlo Alberto’s numismatic Medagliere Reale coin collection with a selection of classic antiquities and precious objects displayed in original princely display cases.
A royal sojourn
The historic five-star hotel in the heart of Turin Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze will welcome you like a king in this privileged location in the so-called Magic City. Symbol of Turin’s past splendour, the hotel is set in an imposing Rationalist style building, one of Turin’s most refined architectural gems. With its elegant spa and wellness centre, from here you’ll enjoy an extraordinary view of the city and its surrounding beauties. The highlight of the structure is its famous Grand Ballroom with a separate dedicated entrance. A golden shrine with Venini mosaics and old Murano chandeliers.