Palazzo reale

Royal Palace - The Scissors Staircase

The Royal Palace of Turin is the first and most important of the Savoy residences in Piedmont. It was the theater of the politics of the Savoy States for at least three centuries.

The Palace, intended as a ducal residence, was designed between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century by Ascanio Vittozzi. At the death of the latter, during the regency of Christine of France, the baton passed to Amadeo di Castellamonte. Subsequently, the facade of the building took on its present appearance, according to the seventeenth-century project of Carlo Morello. The characteristic central part appeared, flanked by two higher wings. Inside, however, the rooms of the main floor were decorated with allegorical images celebrating the royal dynasty. These are splendid works of art created by the hands of various artists.

In the course of time, great names gave their contribution to the magnificence of this building. At the end of the seventeenth century, for example, Daniel Seiter frescoed the ceiling of the Gallery, later called the Daniel Gallery. Guarino Guarini, on the other hand, built the Chapel of the Holy Shroud to house the precious relic. In the eighteenth century, then, it was decided to call for some changes to the famous architect Filippo Juvarra. Now there are many interesting anecdotes about the Royal Palace. But there is a very famous one that concerns this architect.
In spite of the trust immediately shown to him by the king, Vittorio Amedeo II, on his arrival in Turin, the Savoy family did not like him. Juvarra was considered a bit too original.

However, in 1720, on the occasion of the wedding of the crown prince, Juvarra had an open confrontation. Juvarra proposed the construction of a daring pincer staircase to connect two floors of the Royal Palace. The proposal was met with hostility. But the architect did not want to give up and realized the staircase anyway. Before completing his work, however, he had a medallion decorated with scissors placed at the convergence of the pincer. Its meaning? It was a clear allusion to the evil tongues that had disparaged him.
Centuries later, the "scalone delle scissors" continues to amaze even today for its beauty.
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Foto di Andrea Stefanini

Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi - The Devil's Door

With its imposing architecture and the impenetrable aura that surrounds it, Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi represents the perfect setting for a Gothic novel. The palace is an ancient building in Turin, built between 1673 and 1677 by the Count and architect Amedeo di Castellamonte for the powerful Finance Minister Giovanni Battista Trucchi Count of Levaldigi, which stands on a corner lot located between the current Alfieri and XX Settembre streets.

A closer look at its entrance will allow to catch the peculiarity of the palace door. Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi is in fact known as the palace of the "Devil's Door", because of the presence on the door of a golden woodpecker with the features of a sneering devil. Fans of esotericism connect the presence of the Devil's Gate with the fact that, in the seventeenth century, the palace housed the Tarot Factory; they thus count it as one of the places most linked to black magic in Turin.

What is certain is that the palace was the scene of some terrible facts of crime.
In fact, it is said that on a dancing night in 1790, a dancer was murdered with a stiletto, without ever discovering either the culprit or the motive. A violent thunderstorm and a thunderous crash followed, smashing the windows and allowing the icy wind to put the guests to flight.
In 1797, however, the officer Du Perril disappeared here. The soldier had to leave for a mission and the escort was waiting for him at the exit. He disappeared without a trace. Twenty years later some masons knocked down a wall and found his skeleton in the cavity.
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