Mysterious and elusive, proud and obstinate, Turin hides secrets and legends and like a dancer who strips from one veil after another, reveals her most hidden soul: the Magic Turin. (cit.)
If you want to discover this lesser known side of the city of Savoy, come with me on this journey through the innermost secrets of the city.
Turin, from the capital of Italy to a "forgotten city" or at least little considered as a tourist destination, perhaps because in the years from the 60s to the end of the 80s, it experienced a period of "darkness".
It was the 2006 Winter Olympics that gave it back light and brought back, over time, domestic tourists and international travelers, also pursued by the New York Times which in 2016 indicated Turin as a city to visit in Italy.
In this article I try to tell you everything you need to know about Magic Turin: from its legends, places and history, to finish with the best tours to discover its secrets and its magic.
- 1 – Torino Magica Tour
- 2 - Why Torino Magica?
- 3 - Torino Magica: The Egyptian Origin, between history and legend
- 4 - Places and Itineraries of the Magic Turin
- 5 - The characters of the Magic Turin
- 6 - Books on the Magic Turin
1 – Torino Magica Tour
If you've come here, probably the first thing you're interested in knowing is what they are the tours of the Magic Turin.
Since if you continue reading you will probably be spoiled about the things you are going to see (maybe you prefer not to know first) I have decided to list them before you continue reading.
Keep in mind that the first is the only and original tour of the Magic Turin and you can find it at different retailers (but the tour is the same).
ATTENTION: the tours are carried out on foot safely, in small groups, with Certified Protocols and with respect for the interpersonal distancing required for COVID-19.
TORINO MAGICA TOUR (THE ORIGINAL)
This is the tour of the Magic Turin par excellence, the only one, the original.
The tour is always organized and run by Somewhere Tour & Events and it's the first and original tour of the Magic Turin.
Booking is super easy online and you have plenty of places to buy it:
- You can buy the MAGIC TURIN TOUR here as i did (read my full review su State)
- alternatively also you can also find it HERE
- or even HERE (the price is always the same - 25 euros)
I booked with Civitatis because, unlike the official Somewhere website (which didn't even accept my credit card, I don't know why), it allowed me to pay with Paypal and it took me 5 seconds to make the reservation.
Once the reservation was made, I got a voucher to download on the phoneoe to show at the start of the tour:
The tour is a intriguing itinerary between disturbing faces, Masonic enigmas and esoteric symbols that comes to life through the mystery of Gate of the Devil, the ghostly dragons, the legend of alchemical caves, to culminate in the mystery of the Dioscuri, under the watchful eye of the most famous ghosts.
I will not give you all theitinerary of the Magic Turin, but only an extract to make you more or less aware of how it goes.
Keep in mind that, by choosing to walk it alone, you will miss a lot of "goodies" that only a guide can tell you, such as the symbology of Freemasonry.
It Tour parte da Statuto Square and leads you to discover how the "Darkness" came to the city.
Then you go along Garibaldi Street, the direction that leads to "good" and some buildings can be observed that counterbalance the forces of evil: on the one hand the Rondò della Forca and piazza dei roghi, the seat of the Inquisition, on the other the Religious foundations of help to prisoners and orphans.
We continue with a "hunt" for symbols of freemasonry.
We continue piazza San Carlo observing some buildings (of which the guide will tell you the history and some very interesting "doors").
Da Piazza San Carlo then head towards via Roma (from 1930) and finally Piazza Castello where two figures will tell you a very interesting and slightly macabre story about Senate...
In short, during this itinerary you will discover the two souls of Turin (that of white magic and that of black magic) where frightening stone monsters, buildings with sinister architecture and unusual statues stood next to symbolic places of the Good such as the Duomo and Holy Shroud.
- >> To find out more about the magic Turin tour CLICK HERE
TURIN UNDERGROUND TOUR
Even if this tour is not, unlike the one before, strictly linked to the Magic Turin, it is still a very beautiful tour in which we talk about secrets and mysteries and I can only recommend it.
In fact, many cities have secrets and legends and certainly Turin is no exception. With this tour you will set out to discover four underground tunnels of Turin crossing the tunnels that wind under the city surface.
Please note: that the tour is not recommended for people suffering from claustrophobia, while for others it will be an unforgettable evening!
- >> To find out more about the underground Turin tour CLICK HERE
2 - Why Turin Magic City?
If you ask a Turinese who casually runs (the Turinese run even when they walk) he will probably answer "why be part of the magic triangle", without specifying what triangle we are talking about and what the "magic triangle" is.
Incidentally, there are two triangles: that of "white magic", shared with Lyon and Prague; that of "black magic", together with London and San Francisco.
Immediately, however, it is clear that magic does not refer to a romantic aspect (the magic of a sunset, even if poignant ones are formed later), to a particular atmosphere (allusive or suggestive).
The magic of Turin refers precisely to "magic" in the strict sense, or to all those practices that concern the "occult" arts.
But why Turin? Let's go and find out together.
3 - Torino Magica: The Egyptian Origin, between history and legend
One of the legends of the esoteric tradition narrates that the Egyptian Prince Iw Ra Danit, in 1500 BC, in contrast to the priests of the time, left theEgypt across the Mediterranean and reached where the Po crossed the Dora and saw a beautiful bull drinking and then decided to build a city dedicated to the God "bull".
The bull was considered divine since the time of Memphis and so it has remained in the memory of the citizens. The bull officially became the symbol of the city in 1687.
Ai Savoy we owe this "esoteric tradition": lovers of magical thought and profound connoisseurs of the culture of the Ancient Nile.
According to the historian of religions - Massimo Introvigne - the Savoy family from 1500 tried to be accredited among the royal houses, as descendants of the Egyptian pharaohs.
The construction of the Savoy Regge is such that - if imaginary lines are joined - they form a five-pointed star, a symbol of esotericism.
The scandals related to magic
It is said that the beautiful Maria Cristina of France (wife of Vittorio Amedeo I) had underground cellars built in her palace, the Valentino Castle, in order to study alchemy.
Legend has it that the Duchess used the Palace to entertain her lovers, which she then made disappear and - it is said - that ghosts still roam the basement.
Not only that, it is said that under the bed of the Po, he built a passage to reach his alcove "the Royal Vineyard" where he met his favorite lover, Filippo d'Aglié (court musician and poet).
The Legend of the Alchemical Caves
It is said that Emanuele Filiberto used one of the Alchemical Caves which was located in the basement of Royal Palace. They were wide enough to allow a carriage to pass through to the Rivoli Castle.
The construction of these caves is traced back between the '300 and the' 400, but there is no evidence of their actual existence.
The "access door" is indicated at the point where the Fountain of the Nereids stands and it is said that going around the fountain three times brings good luck.
Assuming the existence of these caves, a second cave would be found in Piazza Castello, at the basement of Via Garibaldi. It is also said that this tunnel - built for strategic purposes - reached the Great Mother of God (passing under the Po).
The third cave is the one shrouded in the greatest mystery: the custody of the "philosopher's stone". Maybe that's why it has never been found.
Legend has it that whoever found the "philosopher's stone" would have achieved three powers: to produce the elixir of life, to know the past and the future, and to transform all metals into gold.
Anyone who had found the cave would have run the risk of getting lost in another dimension!
4 - Places of the Magic Turin
1 - The Dragons of Piazza Statuto
It dates back to 1872 the monument in Piazza Statuto, made with stones from Frejus and built in a place where - in Roman times - there was a large necropolis.
There are several figures in this monument, but what is striking is the black angel who guards the dead, with his gaze turned towards the ground, where it is said that you enter the Underworld.
The square is surrounded by places that were the site of auspicious events: the fire of the Cinema Statuto in 1983, and a little further on the Rondò della Forca where between 1835 and 1853 the death sentences of assassins and political conspirators were carried out. .
2 - The Statues of the Dioscuri
Placed in 1847 in front of the gate of the Royal Palace (in Piazza Castello), the Statues of the Dioscuri they mark the dividing line between the sacred city and the diabolical one.
Castor and Pollux, "different twins" children of the same mother but different father (Zeus and a human) cut the energy of the city in two.
On the side of Castor, black magic, on the side of Pollux (the statue with the Star on the head), good energy.
Here in the past the Holy Shroud and from here, it is said, the twelve imaginary lines that divide the city into 12 sectors dedicated to the zodiac signs started.
Piazza Castello it was also the site of fires during the Inquisition, which had its seat in the Church of San Domenico (in Via Milano); on the other hand, it was the place where St. John was celebrated with the bonfire of the summer solstice.
At the center of the bonfire the silhouette of a bull is inserted and if the pyre falls in the direction of Porta Nuova, it will be a lucky year, in the opposite direction, it determines a difficult year.
(NB: in 2019 it fell in a propitious way, but in the course of 2020 the outcome must have been forgotten).
We find the zodiac signs, in a non-traditional form, on a wall of the Turin Cathedral. This sundial places the signs on two vertical bands and not on the wheel. Above Capricorn (winter solstice) crossing Cancer (summer solstice)
3 - Mole Antonelliana
La Mole it was built around 1848 when Carlo Alberto granted the "tolerance" of non-Catholic cults by statute. It was supposed to be a synagogue, but the ambitions of Arch. Antonelli were so high that construction costs had increased enormously, resulting in a renunciation by the Jewish community.
Esoteric reading wants that the construction is a representation of masculine energies, a large "antenna" facing the sky and radiating positive energy.
A curiosity: by the same architect, Casa Scaccabarozzi. Between Corso San Maurizio and Via Giulia di Barolo we find the “Casa Fetta di Polenta”: 9 floors, 2 of which are underground and one side no more than 60 cm.
If you look at it from Via Artisti it looks like a sheet of paper: a house not a home.
4 - Church of the Great Mother of God
La Church of the Great Mother of God it is the first symbol of the city's esotericism: here, in fact, the rites dedicated to the “Great Mother” Isis, wife of Osiris, took place. It is said that the rites took place in the itineraries of the Church.
Legend has it that a web of underground passages connected the Church to Piazza Castello.
Designed by Arch. Bonsignore (Turin) inspired by the Pantheon of Rome and to the Madeleine in Paris and built as an ex voto to celebrate the return of Charles Albert of Savoy.
Inside the Gran Madre there is a "shrine" which preserves the remains of 4000 young people who died during the First World War.
For lovers of esotericism, the figure of the veiled woman who raises her chalice, indicates the spot where the Holy Grail is hidden, the cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper and which collects his blood.
5 - The fountain of the 12 months (Parco del Valentino)
La fountain of the 12 months (Parco del Valentino) hides a secret: according to legend, Feronte - who had little experience in driving solar chariots - crashed into the celestial vault and Zeus, to contain the damage, made him fall right on the banks of the Po.
The Sacred Wood was born there from where the city was born. Of course it is a legend.
6 - The Egyptian Museum
Il Egyptian Museum of Turin it was opened in 1824 and wanted by Napoleon who chose the city as his seat in a non-random way: the Savoy residences - if ideally joined by a line, form a 5-pointed star, a symbol of esoteric knowledge:
- il Moncalieri Castle
- il Stupinigi Castle
- il Rivoli Castle
- il Venaria Castle
- Superga, where the royal tombs are kept (an absolutely essential visit, because it tells us what the role of royal women was - dedicated to churning out children - and why there is the helical staircase of the Juvarra - court abbot and architect from Messina).
The Museum is said to be a battleground of positive and negative energies, due to the sarcophagi it contains.
Along Via Lascaris and Via Arsenale there are many Devils of the palaces that housed the Freemasons and who observe passers-by. Devils on the doors, devils holding lamps. Rather disturbing.
Piazza San Carlo. The Lucky Bronze Bull: legend has it that stepping on the bull's testicles brings good luck.
And now let's go to the other side of the City-Center.
In fact, consider that the city develops on a kind of cross that from the Porta Nuova train station ends in Piazza Castello; beyond the square we have the Cathedral where the Shroud and the Palatine Doors are kept.
The axis we are talking about is cut by a road that ends at the Gran Madre from the Porta Susa train station.
7 - The Angelica fountain (Piazza Solferino)
La Angelica fountain (Piazza Solferino) represents the three seasons. It is considered the "Gate of Infinity".
Autumn and Winter are male statues (the giants Boaz and Joaquin) supporting the Pillars of Hercules; Spring and Summer represent Virtue and Vice. Water represents knowledge, the baptism of human rebirth.
8 - The Devil's Gate (Via XX Settembre 40)
La Door of the Devil (Via XX Settembre 40) owes its fame to the central clapper in which the devil is carved looking at visitors who knock on the door.
To knock, two snakes joined by the head.
It is said that the door appeared one night, following the invocation of the devil by a sorcerer's apprentice. The devil got angry and imprisoned the sorcerer behind the door.
And this for the historical version of the creation of this door.
As for the "magic" version, it seems that the door appeared out of nowhere one night. It is said that, that night, a sorcerer's apprentice had invoked the dark forces and Satan himself. The Devil, annoyed by this invocation, decided to punish the sorcerer by imprisoning him behind the door that the victim was never able to open again.
Another curious legend about this building: it is said that in 1600, the Tarot Factory was located. The Tarot card linked to the devil is no. 15.
And at the time the house number of the building was 15, not 40 like today!
MAGIC TURIN TOUR
The tour is always organized and run by Somewhere Tour & Events and it's the first and original tour of the Magic Turin.
- You can buy the Torino Magica tour at this link as i did (read my full review su State)
- alternatively also HERE
- or HERE(the price is always the same - 25 euros)
5 - The characters of the Magic Turin
The presence of Nostradamus in Turin it dates back to about 1550 and he chose it to further his studies of alchemy. He wanted to visit the secret laboratories (the "Alchemical Caves"), whose traces have never been found, but which scholars of esotericism say existed and that only the Savoy family knew their exact location.
He arrived in Turin with the task of finding a remedy for the Duchess Margaret of Valois, to make her pregnant.
Thanks to his "remedy", Charles Albert I was born, whose death Nostradamus predicted at 69 ("on the road to Jerusalem, when a nine will be faced with a seven").
It is said that he had himself wrapped in the Shroud, before dying of the Plague brought by the lansquenets.
Cagliostro he arrived in Turin in 1788, preceded by his fame as a miracle worker, but also as a swindler of the French courts. His presence provoked envy among the Freemasons who led to his expulsion, fearful that it could cause havoc. As he left, he launched an anathema against the city: "Turin, I curse you";
De Chirico he defines it as enigmatic and sets some of his works right in Turin;
Nietzsche he made his encounter with madness, precisely in Turin; he believed that the city was built specifically for philosophical dissertations;
From the mid-nineteenth century, various characters of occultism arrived in Turin, with the approval of the Savoy who viewed these practices with sympathy.
In 1900, for 91 years, the seer and psychic lived in Turin Role.
6 - Books on the Magic Turin
To finish this article on the Magic Turin, I would like to recommend you last some books so in case you still can't join the tour but just want to know the whole story you know where to go.
MAGIC TURIN - Vittorio del Tufo
Ordered but not yet read, however from the description it seems really beautiful: Traces, voices, stories, memories from the magical heart of Turin, a mysterious, symmetrical, elusive city. Mysterious. Symmetrical. Elusive. But also staid, proud, obstinate. Born at the crossroads of two rivers and many legends, riddles of light and darkness, Turin has always had a very close relationship with its magical dimension. Like the dancer of the Thousand and One Nights, the ancient Savoyard capital is revealed little by little: one veil, then another, another.
MAGIC, FANTASTIC, LEGENDARY TURIN - Massimo Centini
Organized like an encyclopedia with the discussion of over three hundred items, the book deals with the tales of many legends related to the city, populated by characters and traditions, places between past and present. We talk about great men, like Peter Kolosimo and Gustavo Rol, places like La Gran Madre and Musinè, paths like the one around the dragons present on the facades of the houses, esoteric libraries, and the Museum of the fantastic
INCREDIBLE, MAGICAL AND MYSTERIOUS GUIDE TO TURIN. PLACES, FACTS. CHARACTERS, TRADITIONS - Enrico Bassignana
A real guide to the Magic Turin, I have read it and recommend it.
It collects the main places, characters and events of all kinds, thanks to which it is possible to say that "Turin is a magical city", and ends with the 50 stages of a possible "Grand tour" in the most mysterious and intriguing places of the city.
There are other books on the Magic Turin, ne find a nice list provided HERE on AMAZON