Stupinigi Natural Park
Among golden fields and leafy woods
What it is and where it is
If you have ever wondered what the rural landscape looked like a few centuries ago, before the development of large cities and intensive agriculture, just ten kilometers from the historic center of Turin you can find an example. Right here, in fact, is a huge park of 1,732 hectares where agricultural areas and wild woods alternate. Taking a walk in this area is like going back in time, when cultivated land and wild vegetation alternated with balance. We are in the Stupinigi Nature Park where we find the Palazzina di Caccia.
Why it is special
The Park, established by regional law in 1991, has been recognized as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) of Community Importance, due to the presence of valuable habitats related to the residual lowland-type forest. This expression indicates the environment that characterized the Po Valley in ancient times and that today survives in limited areas that have escaped the anthropization of the territory. To ensure the preservation of the area, the Piedmont Region has acquired land and buildings belonging to the urban and rural context of the Stupinigi Compendium.
Not to be missed
Immersed in the nature of the park are also some historic residences of considerable interest, although in a state of abandonment: Castelvecchio, a low-medieval fortified complex originally inhabited by the Savoy-Acaia family, and Parpaglia Castle, presumably of 14th-century origin. The latter is speculated to have arisen as an outpost of the Knights Hierosolimitani, now known as the Order of Malta. The first owners of the castle and associated farmstead were the Revigliasco family, and later the Parpaglia family took over.
A bit of history
In the area we find the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, erected in the first half of the 18th century by architect Juvarra at the behest of the House of Savoy for the hunting practice of chasse à courre (hunting on horseback with packs of dogs) and for royal holidays. In 2009 the Piedmont Region acquired to its heritage the properties (land and buildings) belonging to the urban and rural context of the Stupinigi Compendium, which previously belonged to the Mauritian Order.
The agricultural lands of the Park today host quality agricultural productions, in which respect for the natural environment and modern cultivation techniques are combined; there are six farmsteads (Gorgia, Chiabotto del Beccaio, Bozzalla, Parpaglia, Piniere and Vicomanino), almost all of them from the closed court type and characterized by cereal and livestock production. In addition, the territory of the protected area, now largely closed to vehicular traffic, allows users to circulate on foot, by bicycle and on horseback through the extensive forests and farmland.
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