THE TOWER OF SETTIMO
The tower is the last surviving element of the lordly castle, badly damaged and perhaps destroyed during the Franco-Habsburg wars of the Sixteenth century.
The castle and the tower still standing were built on the site of an earlier fortress without any traces except for the archival sources. We don't know which buildings included the castle: all the reconstruction proposals are the result of conjecture and as such must be considered.
The sources of the Fifteenth century testify that the defense system of Settimo Torinese was very extensive. Besides the castle, included the "villa" or village and "Ricetto", according to a very common pattern in the late Middle Ages. The village was provided with perimeter fortifications and ditches which followed more or less the route of modern ways Antonino, Roosevelt, Mazzini, Astegiano and Matteotti, while to the south appeared partly bounded by the structures of the castle. Beside of that, toward the village, stood the Ricetto, a defensive structure to protect the inhabitants and their property.
During the last centuries of the Middle Ages, the importance of the castle and the fortified town of Settimo depended on the possibility of controlling the final stretch of Lombardia road, in other words the way "publica peregrinorum et mercatorum" (public road of pilgrims and merchants) that came in Turin from Porta Doranea or Palatina.
In the second half of 1800, the tower was turned into a sort of second house on the initiative of a rich Turin family. At the west of the historic building was built a Gothic style palazzo, according to the romantic taste of the time. A beautiful garden with trees occupied the entire area of the destroyed castle. The property was called "Villa Calma." In 1912 the Municipality of Settimo bought the area of the castle and the tower. In 1922-23 was built the school building which from 1983 houses the town hall. Unfortunately, the raising of the building, in the thirties of the twentieth century, destroyed some embrasures of the tower. Thanks to the Pro Loco and Consorteria dei Gamberai, between 1975 and 1976, the painter Giulio Boccaccio decorated the walls and ceiling of an entire floor of the tower with popular scenes from the history of Settimo. The restoration of the tower and near-by building was completed in 2003 (the first studies date back to 1982) by Arch. Donatella D'Angelo of Turin, who not only took care of everything from architectural/structural point of view, but also designed decorative particulars, furnishings, settings for exhibitions. While in some rooms is possible to organize ceremonies for weddings and conferences, other areas have been recovered just for exhibitions and art. In 2003 was held, upon idea of the same designer, an unique exhibition on jewelry that belonged to Divas, who had a great response in the national press and on television, entitled "Mille & una Spilla" (A Thousand & one Brooch).
THE REGGIA OF VENARIA:
AT 15 minutes by car
One of the famous residences of Savoia, the last kings of Italy, where in 2011 will be one of the venues for the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, on 17th March 1861. The Palace is easily accessible following the north freeway of Turin.
BASILICA DI SUPERGA:
The Basilica di Superga was built to satisfy a vow made by Vittorio Amedeo II made in front of the statue of the Mother of Graces during a difficult time for the Savoy dynasty. In 1706 Turin was invaded by the French troops of Luigi XIV who ambitiously hoped to transform Piedmont into a French province, but found a fierce resistance on the part of the Duke Vittorio Amedeo II.
The story claims that on the 2 September 1706 the Duke, along with Prince Eugenio, climbed the hills of Superga to examine the battlefield from a great height. The small church at the top of the hill served the few parishioners of Superga. In front of the statue of the Madonna, the Duke made a vow: if he obtained victory against the French, he would erect in that place a large church in his honour. When descending the hill the two princes discussed their plan of battle. On the morning of the 7th September at 10 o'clock the fighting began. The battle was bloody and terrible but the Piedmontese army had the better of their French counterparts who were defeated. Turin was free and Piedmont maintained it's liberty. The Duke Vittorio Amedeo II assumed the crown of Sicily and then Sardinia and in 1717 laid the first stone of the glorious temple vowed in the honour of the Madre del Salvadore - The Savour of Turin. It was necessary to lower the hill by forty metres, and after having demolished the existing church, sold to the King by the Council of Turin. The project to build the Basilica was handed to the messinese abbot Filippo Juvarra, who produced an outstanding piece of architecture. The Basilica was opened to the public after 14 years of work on the 1st November 1731.. www.basilicadisuperga.com
an extraordinary collection, second only to the Cairo Museum, where you can take an exciting journey into the Egyptian history and civilization. Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6 - Phone 011/56.17.776 www.museoegizio.it
is among the most important art galleries in Italy and holds paintings from the fourteenth and the seventeenth century. Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6 - Phone 011/56.41.755
MODER ART GALLERY (GAM):
from Chagall to Picasso, from Guttuso TO Modigliani, 15.000 works including paintings, sculptures, photographs and engravings.
Via Magenta, 31 - Tel. 011/56.29.911 www.gamtorino.it
NATIONAL AUTO MUSEUM:
a unique collection, 300 pieces rare and extraordinary as the first car built in Italy.
C.so Unità d'Italia, 40 - Tel 011/67.76.66 www.museoauto.it