This pleasant riverside park is a great place to stroll, bike, or jog. Originally the grounds of a relatively simple hunting lodge, the park owes its present arrangement to Madama Maria Cristina of France, who received the land and lodge as a wedding present after her marriage to Vittorio Amedeo I of Savoy. With memories of 16th-century French châteaus in mind, she began work in 1620 and converted the lodge into a magnificent palace, the Castello del Valentino. The building, now home to the University of Turin's Faculty of Architecture, is not open to the public. Next to the palace are the university's botanical gardens, established in 1729, where local and exotic flora can be seen in a hothouse, herbarium, and arboretum.