Park of La Mandria - Villa Laghi

The Park of La Mandria was set up in 1978 to safeguard the 3,600 hectares of land and historical buildings that the Savoy Rulers encircled with a 35-km long fencing wall.

Several features characterize the Park of La Mandria within the Venaria Reale estate: it is one of the largest and most important Natural Parks in the north-west of Italy, home to several domestic and wild animal species; it is the most significant example of a lowland forest in this region and for this reason it was declared a “Site of Community Importance" within the Natura 2000 network; it is Italy’s largest historical park enclosed by a boundary wall and the second-largest in Europe; it is home to the Royal Apartments of Borgo Castello - one of the Savoy Residences that are enlisted as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage.

Additionally, a considerable range of historical and architectural landmarks are found in the Park: these include more than 20 constructions like ancient farms, the remains of a medieval shelter, two hunting lodges (La Bizzarria and Villa dei Laghi), and the Cascina Rubbianetta farmhouse.

The Park is a vast natural reserve that provide unique opportunities to make inspiring and truly rare experiences: from silence, natural scents, and total darkness, to a wealth of activities like walking, hiking, and cycling; from discovering wild flora and fauna to taking a guided tour of the moors, exploring the park’s underwood vegetation and centuries-old fossils, and plunging into the slow pace of a natural environment at its finest.
Visitors are free to explore the park on their own or to participate in the scientific and natural activities organized by the park’s staff.

Visitors Desk and Reservations to visit the Park of La Mandria + 39 011 4993381 info@parcomandria.it - www.parchireali.gov.it/parco.mandria

History

There is a well-documented historical as well as geographical connection that brings together the Park of La Mandria, the town of Venaria Reale and the Reggia.

The estate was established in the second half of the 18th century as a center for breeding and training thoroughbreds that would be ridden by members of the House of Savoy, followed by their court, in the hunts organized in this area. The construction of the so-called Castle started in the early 1700s and coincided with the second building phase at Venaria: after Michelangelo Garove, other famous architects worked on the estate including Filippo Juvarra and Benedetto Alfieri, who were already involved in the construction of the Reggia.

Following Napoleon’s invasion, a new chapter began in the history of the Park when in 1863 Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s first King, purchased the estate that would soon became his favorite retreat. It was at this time that the complex was enlarged and enriched with neogothic elements typical of the time, taking the shape of the current Borgo Castello.

In the late 1800s the ownership of La Mandria was transferred to the Medici del Vascello family. Between 1920 and 1930 reclamation works were undertaken that gave the park its current appearance.

In 1946 the Medici del Vascello family were forced to sell out part their land. In 1976 the Regional Authority purchased the remaining 1,345 hectares, and 500 more hectares in 1995 with the Villa dei Laghi estate.