The castle was built around the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th by the marquises of Saluzzo. Over the course of the centuries the building underwent various changes of ownership. In the 16th century the Savoys transformed it from a fortress into a residence and Ludovico D’Acaja and his court moved into the castle. In the following century the castle was subject to significant rebuilding works directed by Guarino Guarini, who also began work on the park in collaboration with the French architect Le Nôtre. The splendid 17th-century north façade is attributed to Guarini.
During the Jacobin revolts of the late 18th century the castle suffered occupation and the confiscation of goods by the French troops. After a period of decline the castle returned to the hands of the Savoys and Charles Albert entrusted the new renovation works to the engineer Melano and the architect Palagi. All of the castle’s rooms now bear the signs of their interventions, visible in the floors, the fireplaces and the furnishings. Palagi was also responsible for works on the park, which he designed in English neo-Gothic style.
With the transfer of the capital to Rome, the castle was used as a summer residence but continued to maintain its prestige, hosting illustrious figures of the era. The castle’s last owner was Umberto II, who received it from Victor Emanuel III as a wedding gift.
The public can visit the first and second floors, the kitchens and the park. On the first floor visitors can see the state apartments, the Chinese rooms, the young princes’ apartments, the cardinal’s apartments and the apartments of the king and queen. On the second floor are the rooms of Charles Albert, Umberto II and Victor and Elena. Visits to the park are separate and possible only in the spring and summer.
Carriage and horse services, park library on Sundays, educational services for schools, Terre di Savoia information point, café, local product shop, event rental.
Local sights: San Giovanni Battista cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore parish church, Madonna delle Grazie sanctuary, Palazzo Comunale, civic tower, former provincial asylum, Angelo Spada hospital, Manissero silk mill
In the area: The surrounding countryside is dotted with ancient farmhouses and estates, such as Migliabruna Vecchia (ancient military tower), Streppe (abbey grange), San Lorenzo (Hospitallers’ hospice), Tenuta Berroni and Miglibruna Nuova. Cascina Stramiano houses the famous stork centre.
Typical products: capons, tripe
Sports: horseriding, cycling, hiking, volleyball
Events: Carnival with parade of floats (February), eco cycle ride and “Camina Camina” walk (May), Musica in Castello festival (June and July), end of summer festival and patron saint’s day (September), mechanical nativity scenes (December)