Marta Chianale tells us about an enchanted place in Piedmont, near the city of Turin: The Ducal Castle of Agliè.
In the little burg of Agliè, located in the hills of Canavese, an area of Pidemont (Northern Italy), there is a Castle with seven centuries of history; an architectural jewel that, since 1997, is also a UNESCO cultural heritage site. This particular region is famous for good wines, vineyards and hilly landscapes, but also for its castles. Indeed, here you can find a lot of historic castles, from the Middle Age to the Savoy family era.
One of these hidden gems is exactly the Castle of Agliè, situated in the namesake small village surrounded by mountains and nature. The burg is also known to be the hometown of a famous Italian post-decadent poet, Guido Gozzano, who lived both in Turin and in Agliè, where his family owned several properties that are definitely worth the visit.
Once you enter the castle, time stands still: it almost seems to listen to the sound of the vines growing on the walls and that of the light filtering from the large windows that light up the wonderful works of art. Crossing the ball room and walking through the baroque galleries, you can almost hear ancient songs and see the guests from the past, the ladies’ crinoline and the graceful steps of the gentlemen.
Today, the Castle of Agliè is still a magic place, a perfect destination for those who whant to escape from the chaos of the city and plunge in ancient atmospheres, far from the crowded destinations of mass turism.
A secular history
The original structure of the castle dates back to the XII century. Built under the auspices of Count Filippo d’Agliè, in 1643 it was transformed from a Medioeval castle into an elegant Savoyard residence. In 1824, right after the Napoleonic domination, King Carlo Felice and his wife Maria Cristina di Borbone Napoli completed the construction of the great park, adding to the classic Italian garden some other romantic elements, such as an English garden, with boxwood hedges, a lake and a roof garden.
Inside, the castle shows a colorful and charming world made of bright colors and luminous areas, where to get lost and imagine the dancing nights in the great hall and in the hallways along the green gallery adorned with old marble statues. There, you can almost hear the echo of the performances in the hall of the theater (a real rarity for a Savoy residence!) and the conversations in the stunning greenhouse surrounded by vines and fruit plants.
A real jewel, between fiction and reality
The main reason for the uniqueness of the castle is surely the variety of its architectural styles, but this is a ‘thousand souls castle’ also for some gossip reasons. Maybe few people know that, but some years ago the Castle of Agliè was also the set of a famous Italian TV show. Indeed, ‘Elisa di Rivombrosa‘ was shot here. This summer, sixteen years after that show, another troupe has chosen this gorgeous castle as a TV set, confirming that the magic of this place is still there.
The Castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30 to 19:30. Closed on Monday.
Free entry first Sunday of the month.
Entry price: about 8 euros