I had been aiming for blooms in the Burcina Park, a historic garden located in the municipalities of Biella and Pollone, for YEARS, and this year on a long weekend in the Aosta Valley, we finally managed to visit it during the rhododendron bloom period.
Expectations were high and were not at all disappointed. To find oneself immersed in this riot of colors and scents was truly exciting. It is absolutely worth visiting even for those who, like us, do not live nearby.
The Burcina Park stretches over the Bric Burcina of the same name, a gentle hill positioned in the pre-Alps of Biella.
It is an ideal destination for a walk in the green admiring the many blooms that follow one another throughout the year and stopping for lunch at one of the restaurants inside or, if the season allows, having a picnic on the meadows.
A little bit it reminded me of our park in Nervi with its spectacular rose garden and wide lawns where the Genoese sunbathe and relax.
Blooms in Burcina Park, near Biella: what to see
Burcina Park was established in the mid-1800s at the behest of the Piacenza family, which committed itself to the creation of this wonderful natural area by buying the land and planting shrubs from all over the world.
The father’s efforts were continued first by his son Felice and then by his grandson Enzo, and since 1934 by the City of Biella, which has continued to invest in new plantings, the construction of a restaurant, a bar, an apple orchard, an educational classroom with an optical microscope, and a library of over 1,000 volumes.
Due to the beauty of the park and the variety of centuries-old plants, in 1980 the Burcina Park was declared a Felice Piacenza Special Nature Reserve.
Today the Park covers no less than 57 hectares and is home to a huge variety of natural species including the aforementioned rhododendrons, liriodendrons, roses, hydrangeas, maples, pines, redwoods, firs, cypresses, and more.
Particularly beautiful, too, are the views of the mountains of Biella and the plains, ranging from Monviso to Adamello.
Blooms in Burcina Park, near Biella: what to do
Burcina Park is very large, and ideally you would have a half day to take your time to tour it. Entrance is free and free of charge.
From the entrance to the highest point of the Park, it takes about 1h30 minutes of easy walking. Along the well-marked path up the hill, you can find a romantic pond, redwoods, rhododendron basin, hydrangeas, two restaurants, meadows and benches where you can rest and admire the view.
Inside the park, there are restrooms and a drinking fountain where you can fill your water bottle. During the rhododendron bloom period, the advice is to take the path that veers to the right after the drinking fountain because it leads directly to the rhododendron basin.
The main attraction of Burcina Park is definitely the blooming of the rhododendrons, which occurs between late May and early June and is a wonderful and truly special spectacle if you have never been lucky enough to admire it before.
Rhododendron bloom consists of a colorful cascade of these wonderful flowers with very different shades of color and size. They range from white to red via pink and lilac.
The University of Turin has estimated the presence of about 1,200 rhododendron plants within the Burcina Park, which occupy an area of about 2 hectares at an altitude of more than 600 meters above sea level.
The rhododendrons can be admired in two places: the first is the so-called “basin or valley of rhododendrons” located near Pian del Lupo; the second is the summit of Bric Burcina and covers the eastern slope of the hill.
The valley of rhododendrons was created by Felice Piacenza, the son of the creator of the Burcina Park, and carried on by his son Enzo, also a rhododendron enthusiast and expert.
When to go to Burcina Park: month-by-month blooms
Each season within Burcina Park offers different landscapes and colors that provide reason for a walk in search of the most beautiful blooms.
✿ January is the month when Prunus Subhirtella autumnalis blooms.
✿ Instead, spring crocuses, camellias and heathers bloom in March.
✿ In April, Japanese cherry trees and daffodils can be seen blooming.
✿ Late May is the time of rhododendrons, handkerchief tree and azaleas.
✿ In June, roses and liriodendrons can be seen.
✿ In July and August, on the other hand, hydrangeas in bloom.
✿ September is the time for erikes and apples.
✿ In October you must go if you are interested in the fantastic colors of foliage.
☛ How to get to Burcina Park and where to park
Driving on the A4 Turin-Milan freeway, you must turn off at the Santhià exit and continue on the SS143 following the signs for Pollone. The address is: Cascina Emilia 13814, Pollone BI
Near the entrance, there is a large pay parking lot (1.10€ per hour for the first 4h, 5.50€ for the whole day). A clearing for RVs can also be found.
In the vicinity of the entrance, on the other hand, there are free parking spaces with 1h parking discs from Monday to Saturday, free then on holidays.
Car access for the elderly (>65) and the disabled, is allowed only on Thursday and Saturday mornings, not holidays.
☛ Where to eat in Burcina Park
Within the Burcina Park there are two traditional Biella restaurants, both in scenic locations: one in the middle – Trattoria Burcina – and the other – the Cascinotto – at the end. In warm weather they are taken by storm so it is best to book a few days in advance to secure your table.
For picnic lunch lovers, on the other hand, there are a variety of benches and meadows along the route where you can sit and have lunch.
Blooms in Burcina Park: info with children
The trail within Burcina Park is wide and has no exposed sections so it is easily walked by children.
You can go with a stroller although to see some of the blooms and the giant sequoias, you have to go a little deeper into the bush without the stroller.
Be aware that there are several shortcuts that reconnect between points on the trail and make the ascent a lot faster, and even those cannot be taken with the stroller.
Flower picking is prohibited.
At the entrance to the park, there is a small church and a nice playground for children.
Where to sleep around Burcina Park
Apartment near Burcina – Very nice apartment, located in the green and provided with everything. Possibility to have the crib for free. Very close to Burcina Park and Oropa Sanctuary. Book here.
In Japan, Shinrin-yoku has been a widespread practice since the 1980s that involves immersion in nature as a remedy for the stresses of daily life.
Nature walks, among the scents and colors of vegetation, really allow you to unplug, and the Burcina Park, with its blooms, is the right destination for regeneration.