The first public gardens to be opened in Turin still exist as the Parco del Valentino, one of the city's most popular parks. Opened in 1856, the Parco del Valentino covers more than 123 acres in Turin along the left bank of the Po River. The park includes the Castello del Valentino, the University of Turin's botanical garden, and a replica medieval village – complete with a castle – built for the 1884 Turin International Expo.
The park was once the setting for car races—these were held between 1935 and 1954, all known as the Gran Premo del Valentino.
The Parco del Valentino is always open, and admission is free. It's on the west side of the river, between the Umberto I and Isabella bridges. Admission to and open hours of various attractions inside the park varies. The medieval village's castle, for instance, is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, and admission is €5 for adults. The Castello del Valentino now houses the architecture department of the University of Turin, and is not open to visitors.