Fondo Ambiente Italiano opens the doors of one of its most ancient properties: the Masino Castle, the perfect destination for a short out-of-town trip.
Nestling amidst the Canavese’s hills, roughly a half-an-hour drive from Milan, the Masino Castle is a gem of architecture whose origins are steeped in 11th century Piedmontese history. Guided tours of the fortress, also available in English subject to advance booking (T: +39 0125 778100), also include its age-old grounds. A fabulous destination for open-air events, the park boasts an English-style garden abounding in luxuriant plants and shrubs and a path lined with linden trees that leads to the 18th-century labyrinth of hornbeams, a vast and mysterious botanical enigma that appears in documents safeguarded in the castle’s archives. Just a short distance from the property’s main entrance, visitors can admire the 18th-century stables and the Coach Museum, hosting 12 beautifully restored carriages, the majority of which date back to the 19th century. On entering the castle, guests will have a chance to admire its rooms decorated with stuccoes and frescoes which have now been restored to their former splendour thanks to the in-depth restoration work carried out by FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano), the National Trust for Italy. Rooms of particular note include the Billiard Room, a triumph of trompe l’oeil frescoes, hosting an array of period games and the spectacular circular Ballroom under whose coffered ceiling noblemen and ambassadors danced. Music lovers will be delighted to discover that the castle also houses a piano used by Rossini while composing the opera ‘Tancredi’.
Open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm. Last entry one hour before closing time.
[Photo credits: Mauro Ranzani and Giorgio Majno]
Castello and Parco di Masino
Via al Castello, 1 – Caravino
External links: www.visitfai.it/castellodimasino/(in Italian)