What’s better than spending an entire day outdoors immersed in nature in total relaxation? In my opinion there is nothing more beautiful.
Today I want to take you around the Parco della Mandria in Venaria Reale.
The Parco della Mandria, adjacent to the Royal Residence of Venaria Reale, was the first regional park established in Italy in 1978, but its history is much older.
This area, today approximately 2.000 hectares, was born in the 16th century as a hunting reserve for the royal family of the Savoy and equipped for the stay of the king and the court. King Vittorio Amedeo II inserted a horse farm for the royal stables from which the name “La Mandria” (the herd) derived. Afterwards, King Vittorio Emanuele II had the Borgo Castello and other buildings built to live there, it seems, with his morganatic wife Rosa Vercellana, also known as the “Bela Rosin”.
Upon the death of Vittorio Emanuele II the estate passed to the “Medici del Vascello” marquises, during which portions of land were sold for the construction of various residences and a golf course. In 1976 it became property of the Piedmont Region, which established the Regional Park of La Mandria.
The Parco della Mandria is an important reality of environmental protection, one of the most prestigious sites of the Nature 2000 Network (network of parks and protected areas created by the European Union) in which various species of wild animals live freely and preserves the most significant example of lowland forest present in Piedmont.
The Park of Venaria Reale has a central nucleus surrounded by approximately 30 km of surrounding wall and claims a considerable historical-architectural heritage (in fact it’s one of the sites declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO) constituted by over 20 protected buildings including the Borgo Castello complex, numerous farmhouses, the remains of a medieval shelter and two Reposoir di caccia (Hunting Lodges).
The entrance at the park can be done freely, but before organizing your trip I suggest you to check the opening hours on the Parco della Mandria Website. Also check the weather forecast carefully, because in case of bad weather the park isn’t open to the public.
To make your visit even more adventurous I recommend you renting a bike, there are many farmhouses that offer the rental service, including Cascina Prato Pascolo very close to the “Ponte Verde” entrance.
The farmhouses located within the Parco della Mandria offer various activities, such as the sensory path “La foresta in Punta di Piedi” (The Forest in Tiptoes) at Cascina Brero, guided excursions, visits at the royal apartments of the Borgo Castello, horseback ridings at Cascina Vittoria and much more.
Cascina Brero (organize excursions and activities)
Ciabot of animals (has several rooms built and designed to bring adults and children closer to nature in a pleasant and fun way)
Cascina Vittoria stables (horseback ridings, carriage tours, small museum of carriages)
Faunal observations (for professional photographers)
Borgo Castello (the ticket includes the visit at the royal apartments and the entry to the gardens of the Royal Residence of Venaria)
Where to rent bikes
Where to eat
How to reach the Parco della Mandria
By car: reachable in 15 minutes. You can leave the car in the free parking adjacent the Ponte Verde entrance (near the Royal Residence of Venaria Reale)
Public transports: Depart from Piazza Marconi in San Maurizio c.se (in front of the station) take the bus 3971 towards Turin and get off at the Station of Venaria Reale (4 stops). From here you can reach the stop “Venaria (Borgo Antico)” with a 2-minute walk and board the Venaria Express, which takes you inside the Park.
Casual clothes and specially comfortable shoes
I wish you to
ENJOY YOUR OUTING AND HAVE FUN!