The fairytale castle exists and is just over two hours from Milan and an hour and a half from Turin. A dwelling that cannot be more "real", having been the summer residence of Queen Margherita. Built during the first years of the twentieth century at the behest of the sovereign Savoy, the elusive manor is named Castel Savoia and is one of the most popular cultural attractions of the Valle d'Aosta. Its five neo-Gothic style towers sprout from the pines and immediately catch the eye of the visitor, who can reach the castle by walking along a short forest path. The exterior walls in light gray brick, on the other hand, blend in with the silent surrounding nature and convey a sense of elegance and sobriety.
Castel Savoia is located near the enchanting alpine village of Gressoney-Saint-Jean, more precisely in Belvedere, a name that speaks volumes about the geographical and panoramic position of the ancient villa, perched on the Colle della Ranzola, from which it is possible to admire the summit of Monte Rosa and the Lyskamm glacier, under which lies the Valle del Lys. A striking semi-circular double-flight staircase welcomes those who enter the castle, arranged on three floors: the ground floor, made up of day rooms; the second floor, which houses the noble apartments, including the dining room with a large central fireplace and the bedroom of Queen Margherita; finally the third floor, which was reserved for court guests. The wooden ceilings, medieval furnishings, linen and silk upholstery and the liberty decorations represent a mix of different styles, which reflect the eclectic and creative character of Italy's most beloved queen.
At the foot of the castle, in front of the terrace on the ground floor, lies a beautiful botanical garden, composed of a series of rocky flower beds in which various types of typically alpine plants and flowers and species from different parts of the world are placed. The most expert of flora will certainly recognize the Rhododendron Ferrugineo, the Gentian, the Arnica, the Semprevivi, the Giglio Martagone and many other specimens that could not miss in the floral collection of an excellent green thumb like the Queen Margherita.
Umberto I's wife incredibly loved the Valle d'Aosta, so much so that he became the main "sponsor". Passionate about excursions, she was the first woman to climb Monte Rosa. The Capanna Regina Margherita refuge is dedicated to her, inaugurated in 1893, still today the highest in Europe. So if you want to relive the Queen's Aosta Valley summer holidays, go to Gressoney-Saint-Jean, one of the most beautiful mountain villages in Italy, and take a blitz at Castel Savoia, open to the public all year round with guided tours: you will immerse yourself in a timeless fairy tale, where history, culture and nature meet, leaving room for curiosity and imagination.