The Magical Turin
By Correspondent Alina Bucataru in Onesti, Romania.
About 4 and a half years ago I decided it would be a good idea to change everything in my life, to have a new beginning and a new life, so I decided to move to Italy. I talked to my husband and with some of my friends that were already living there, and in about a week we were all packed and ready to go.
After our arrival, it took us a few weeks to put everything together (a place to live, jobs), but we managed to do it by the book.
One day, while drinking my morning tea, I started thinking that if Torino (Turin) is going to be our adoptive city then I should start learning more about its history and culture. I am more than aware that the history of any city is amazing and full of extraordinary events, and after some intensive research (reading books, going to museums), I soon discovered that Turin has more than just an exciting past, but also a magical present. This is why it is called The Magical Turin.
The legend says that Turin is part of two magic triangles. The first is the white magic, along with Lyon and Prague, and the second one is the black magic, along with London and San Francisco. Legends, myths and history create a magical atmosphere inside the city.
Incredible long underground tunnels run beneath the city, what is now known as Piazza Statuto, an open space in the center of the city, the magical side reveals that it represents the black heart of Turin and back in the days is was a necropolis (a type of cemetery) and also a place where people were hanged and tortured. It is also supposed that in the garden of the Piazza there is a manhole cover that goes underground until you reach the Gates of Hell (spooky legends, right?)
The thing that intrigued me the most is that the famous Nostradamus lived right here in Turin at Domus Morozzo.
One of the museums I visited was Misericordia Church, a place where in 1700’s the prisoners sentenced to death said their last words. Here you can see the ossuary, black hoods, and the crucifix (pretty creepy if you ask me).
Piazza Castello is exactly at the center of the city and according to the legends of the white magic; it represents the magical heart of the city where all the positive energy is. Walking a few hundred meters away we’ll come across the Doumo, were mystics say that the gates represented by Castore and Polluce are actually dividing the city of saints and devils.
Some legends or rumors say that there are other magical aspects of different buildings (good or evil). It is said that at the Egyptian Museum a curse strikes some students, infecting them with not so severe maladies. Also the Palazzo Madama was build over the Caves of Alchemy where the ancient wizards tried to find a way to the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The biggest and most incredible mystery is represented by the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio, the symbol of mysticism. Legends say that this place represents the key to finding the Holy Grail. Some say it is buried under the church and others say that one of the statues indicates the place where it is buried.
All these bits and pieces put together an entire image of this magical town, but the only way to really understand the true magic is to come to Turin and walk on the ancient’s streets and explore the depths of the city. It’s worth all your time.
Alina Bucataru, is 27 years old and from Onesti, Romania. Before working in Human Resources at a big industrial company here in Romania she lived in Italy for 3 and a half years working as a teacher for children under 8 years old. Alina likes to travel a lot, to see new and exciting places while combining the history of the location with the fun and excitement that a new place has to offer.