Turin’s Medieval Village and Castle: solid dream

Torino, Parco del Valentino, Borgo e Rocca medievali - Turin, Valentino Park, Medieval Village and Castle

One of the consultants who worked on creating Turin’s Medieval Village and Castle was Piedmontese writer and playwright Giuseppe Giacosa, who among other things was the librettist of Puccini’s operas “La Bohème”, “Tosca” and “Madama Butterfly”.

Giacosa (1847-1906) put his vast culture at the service of the impressive project carried out in 1884, under the supervision of Portuguese architect Alfredo d’Andrade, inside Valentino Park. The medieval replica was a pavilion for the International Exhibition held in the same year, and was supposed to be demolished after the event. Instead, it was turned into a city museum in 1942.

Giacosa had a passion for the Middle Ages, and set his 1873 “A Game of Chess” (or “The Wager”) in that time. In the prologue to the play in Martellian verse, Giacosa describes castles with corroded, crumbled walls climbed by ivy; decapitated towers whose merlons have fallen to the ground; ruined frescoes in huge rooms, with giant fireplaces now full of ruins; screeching birds, grotesque yet stronger and more solid than the castle itself.

The melancholic poet could never have imagine that in Turin, this project inspired by the dilapidated castles and churches in Piedmont and the Aosta Valley would still be standing, over a century later.

Photos via:
www.flickr.com/photos/brancazio/6650399719 www.flickr.com/photos/elsa_e_roby/2442891071 www.flickr.com/photos/ikimuled/13271017835 www.flickr.com/photos/lfphotos/12169743164 www.flickr.com/photos/mastino70/4660615635 www.flickr.com/photos/micheletedesco/12363428625 www.flickr.com/photos/stellapapini/13334449724

January 6, 2015

Turin’s Medieval Village and Castle: solid dream

Viale Virgilio, 107 (Parco del Valentino)
+39 011 4431701/02
+39 011 4431719/20