In the heart of Piedmont, between Turin and Alba, easily reached by motorway, there is the Pralormo Castle, a stronghold of medieval origin dating back to the thirteenth century that boasts, in April, the flowering of over 75,000 tulips and daffodils. The event is celebrated every year with the exhibition Messer Tulipano, involving the whole village of Pralormo.
Reach the Castle will not be difficult for the stranger who just follow the swarm of tulips that adorn the balconies of the charming town throughout the month of April.
From May to November, the Castle and its beautiful park can be visited only on Sundays and public holidays.
Today the Castle is home of the Counts of Pralormo that open the doors of their dwelling to visitors to show the entire feud, from cellar to the spacious kitchens, through the courtly salons, the Minister's study, the living room of music, to move into third floor, custodian of a precious rarity: a collection of miniature trains that the Count of Pralormo, Edward Beraudo, cultivated from 1896 up to the end of his life.
How to reach
A21 Torino-Piacenza exit Santena continue for Alba-Poirino
A21 Torino-Piacenza, exit Villanova d'Asti. Then follow direction for Alba-POIRINO
A6 Torino-Savona, exit Carmagnola. Then follow direction for Pralormo
From Torino Porta Nuova Railway Station, take subway up to Piazza Carducci and then bus GTT Torino - Poirino - Alba
GGT line Torino - Poirino - Alba
Info: 800 019152 - www.gtt.to.it
Built during the Middle Age, the castle was transformed over the centuries into a pleasant mansion surrounded by a sumptuous english style park designed in the nineteenth century by Xavier Kurten, the king's landscape architect. He planned the garden as a “Path of Delight” filled with eye-catchers, landscape perspectives enhancing the stunning mountain scenery by knowingly sculpting the trees, and picturesque planting, selecting trees with captivating foliage, flowers and fragrance over the different seasons.
The project of the English style park was completed and has been well preserved, except for a few changes due to trends emerging at the end of XIX century. In addition to the imposing cedars of Lebanon, new “exotic” varieties were introduced. Among the others, bamboos, a rare variety of woody shrub (clerodendrum Perbungei), a conservatory glass-house for citrus, orchids and other ex- otic species, a cozy garden characterized by a rotation blooming year long: Calycanthus (sweetshrub), Forsythia, Spiraea, boules de neige, hawthorn,lilacs, golden chain (laburnum), iris and Koelreuteria.
Roses have been bred since since XVI century, then stunning velvet peonies were introduced and now a ornamental cherry trees avenue has been set.
Over 100.000 tulips flower every spring in this extraordinary setting. Flower beds run alongside the avenues and through the secular trees and the graduated flowering of the bulbs continues through the month of april together with lilacs, irises and peonies. On this occasion the park opens to the public with a grand popular event: “Messer Tulipano”.
Pralormo castle, inhabited since 1680 by current count and his family, offers two itineraries. An interesting House Tour which gives a stunning insight into the castle's domestic needs and intimate moments, daily life and behind the scenes, stories and secrets, recipes and banquets. A new connoisseur tour is specially dedicated to an incredible large scale (1:43) railroad model with vintage electric trains and steam locomotives running on railroad tracks, going through tunnels dug into the walls, scenery and landscape. The castle farmhouses are ideal venues for meeting, event and wedding. Along the boundary wall of the castle, pleasant rural suites offer a perfect combination of history and modern comfort.
Along the boundary wall of the castle, one finds ''The gardener's houses'',
newly renovated apartments and customized based on the people which a time have lived and worked there.
There is the coachman's house, the orchard keeper's house, the woodcutter's house, the gardener's house, And Also the herbalist's house, Because in the past the apothecary's shop was located right there.