The Castle and Cosso Foundation
Established in 2008 by Maria Luisa Cosso and her daughter Paola Eynard, the Cosso Foundation is headquartered in the Miradolo Castle, within the municipality of San Secondo di Pinerolo.
The foundation is run on a non-profit basis and works to promote the Pinerolo area, including adding value to the local historical and artistic heritage, supporting socially useful activities and collaborating with cultural operators and different kinds of schools.
The Cosso Foundation wants to consolidate the Miradolo Castle as a cultural hub, a reference point for local residents and visitors, echoing the artistic coterie that the Countess Sofia di Bricherasio, once the owner of this historic building, attracted around herself between 19th and 20th centuries.
The Miradolo Castle is located at the entrance to the Chisone Valley, around 40 kilometres from Turin, and took on its current appearance in 1866, the year in which the history of the Massel family intersected with that of the Cacherano di Bricherasio Counts. On the occasion of their marriage, Luigi Cacherano di Bricherasio presented his new wife, the Marchesa Teresa Massel, with the wedding gift of the renovation of the ancient, rustic country “cassina”, probably dating from the 17th century, transforming it into a noble residence in neo-Gothic style.
The union of Teresa and Luigi produced the children Sofia and Emanuele. The latter, who died tragically in 1904, was one of the founders of FIAT, the major Italian car company. Sofia, remembered for her intellectual and social achievements, was the last survivor of the family. She died in 1950, leaving the Miradolo Castle to a religious congregation that transformed the building into a house for spiritual practices.
In 2007 the entire complex was acquired by a group of private individuals and loaned to the Cosso Foundation, which reopened it in 2008. To fix the effects of decades of neglect, the Fondazione launched an impressive program of restoration works, allowing all halls and the park to be reopened to the public.
Since 2014 the castle has been a member of the Italian Association of Historic Residences (ADSI).
The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park covering more than six hectares which still reflects the plans and taste of whoever designed the gardens when they were laid out in the late 18th century, and the landscapers who extended them in the 19th century, giving them a number of romantic features.
There are specimens here of considerable beauty and historic and botanical importance, including over 1,740 trees from 70 different species, arranged in groups, small groves and on their own, setting off the spacious grassy clearings.
Since 2014 the park has been a member of the “Great Italian Gardens” circuit and was included in the “100 Gardens for Expo project.
Built in the 19th century, it is integrated into the harmonious and elegantly balanced design that characterizes the whole castle. The restoration, which returned the structure’s original proportions and materials, allowed visitors once again to appreciate an extraordinary space, in which the neo-Gothic arches and wide windows allow light to become the protagonist.
Recently renovated and made more welcoming by green beds of aromatic plants and flowers, the castle’s inner courtyard separates the entrance to the central part of the building from the rustic wing and is currently home to the café’s outdoor seating.
Bookshop, bar and event rental.
The bookshop offers a wide range of books relating to events at the Miradolo Castle, with a diverse selection of catalogues and other publications connected to the exhibitions and art history. A whole section is dedicated to books about historic parks and gardens. Gifts themed around the current exhibition and the castle are also available.
Recently renovated, the welcoming space attached to the inner courtyard gives visitors a place to enjoy refreshments.
24 and 25 March: Ulisses Project, students performance 15.00-18.30.
1 and 2 April: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00.
2 April: Natural Treasure Hunt, activity for families (15.00-18.00).
7 April: Autism Awareness Day, readings and activities for kids.
8 April: Let's draw, for families, and special tour "The awakening of the Garden" (16.00-17.30).
14 April: Stories of gardens and gardeners, readings in the Garden and music (16.30-18.00).
22 April: Earth Day; for families: Once upon a time a tree (11.00-12.30), Barefeet in the Garden (for children age 1-3, 15.00-15.30), Self-handling Games (16.00-17.30).
25 April: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00 and guided tour (16.00-17.30).
28 April-1 May: Flowers Market.
29 April: International Dance Day, activities for kids (16.00-17.30).
1 May: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00.
4 May: Charity Dinner.
6 May: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00, special tour dedicated to exotic plants in the english garden (16.00-17.30).
12 May: Stories of gardens and gardeners, readings in the Garden and music (16.30-18.00).
13 May: Castelli Aperti (opening 10.00-18.00), at 16.00, guided tour “Miradolo Castle: history and restorations" about the 10-years project led by Cosso Foundation.
19 May: Museum Night, guided tour at 20.30, closing at 24.00.
20 May: International Museum Day, activities for families (16.00-17.30).
27 May: European Parks Day, special tour dedicated to the romantic garden (16.00-17.30).
3 June: World Environment Day, Picnic in the Garden from 12.00, special tour and activities for families (16.00-17.30).
17 June: Discoring the tiny world, for kids, and special tour dedicated to the hydrangeas (16.00-17.30).
21 June: Summer concert (21.30).
24 June: Summer concert, waiting for dawn (4.30)
29 June: Picnic at sunset and movie.
1 July: Fairytales and picnic in the Garden.
6 July: Picnic at sunset and movie.
8 July: guided tour about the history of the gardening.
12 July: Picnic at sunset and movie.
15 July: guided tour about the hydrangeas.
19 July: Picnic at sunset and movie.
22 July: special tour dedicated to exotic plants in the english garden (16.30).
28 July: Picnic at sunset and guiged tour for families about nocturnal animals (21.00).
29 July: guided tour about the Castle, the Garden and their restoration (16.30).
5 August: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00.
12 August: guided tour (16.30) and tastings of sweets rom the Ancient Pastry Castino.
15 August: Picnic in the Garden from 12.00, guided tour for families (15.30).
19 August: World Photography Day, photographic guided tour.
26 August: guided tour about the Castle, the Garden and their restoration (16.30).
16 September: honey tasting, with Bee Slow (16.30)
30 September: wine tasting (12.00), guided tour about the Castle, the Garden and their restoration (16.00), readings in the Garden (17.00).
Booking recommended for picnic.
Castle: open by appointment or in case of temporary exhibitions.
Garden: from 21 March
Sunday and holiday (Easter, 2 and 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 15 August) 10.00-19.00.
Closed from 27 August to 15 September.
Open by appointment for tourists and groups (min. 20 people).
Audioguide available for the Garden.
Castle: guided tours in english and french by appointment.
Garden: adult € 10 (audioguide included);
groups € 8;
students (age 6-14) € 5;
free for children under 6, Abbonamento Musei Torino Piemonte Card.