The Castello San Valentino is one of the former residencies of the House of Savoy in Turin. It is located in the middle of the park of the same name, on the banks of the river Po. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At present, it is the seat of the department of architecture of the Politecnico di Torino.
Castello del Valentino Turin
Address: Viale Mattioli, 39, 10125 Torino. Phone: +39 011 0906655. The rooms on the Piano Nobile can be visited, but only as a member of a guided tour. Ticket price: Free. The tours take place on the first three Saturdays of the month, at 10.00 and at 11.30. The entrance for the visit is at Viale Pier Andrea Mattioli 39. Booking information.
History and description
There are two possible explanations for the name of the castle. According to some, it is named after a church dedicated to San Valentino, which used to be located nearby. Others claim that it derives from the valley-like nature of the area close to the river. In 13th century documents, this area is referred to as “Vallentium”.
In 1564, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy bought the original villa and had it enlarged and embellished, probably by Andrea Palladio.
Madama Maria Cristini Elena di Francia, who used to spend a lot of time there with her court, had Carlo and Amedei duI Castellamonte turn the place into a real castle between 1630 and 1660. The slanting roof, the facade on the Via Po side and the baroque decorations were all added in those years.
In occasion of the Universal Exposition of 1858 the addition two new bodies meant that the main facade became the one on the city side.
The piano nobile is the only part of the building that can be visited. It is decorate with stucco ornaments and 17th century frescoes with historical and mythological themes. Several artists wer involved, including Isidoro, Francesco and Pompeo Bianchi, G. Paolo, G. Antonio Recchi and Isidoro Casella.