Bed and Breakfast Villa Rosa - Via Caraglio 127/6 - 10141 TORINO -
The history of my house
My Bed & Breakfast is located in a 1920s single house in a historic district, Borgo San Paolo, place of many famous top-rated companies in the past, Lancia car manufacturer, place of resistence against the fascist regimes in the thirties and during the WWII, final place of hopes for poor immigrants from South Italy in sixties.
Beginning in the 1950s, Italy completed its postwar transformation from a largely agrarian, relatively poor country into one of the most economically and socially advanced countries of the world. One consequence of these changes was a strong migration from the south to the big industrial cities in the North of the country, Turin with FIAT car manufacturing corporation was an extremely attractive place for those who had no job and lived in poverty in the southern regions.
South-Italian immigrants completely changed the social structure of our district, creating tension and integration problems at that time,
Today many years have elapsed from that time, the factories of the past disappeared and the district bears the fruits of its important history, the experience of people who migrated from the South, created a solidary community.
If you are ready to listen, you can distinguish an silent choir of many different voices, united in the memories of resistance, social rebellion in their hopes, generosity, and courage.
Borgo San Paolo is a melting pot on national level, where the past is still living today, the rebellion against injustice, the silent generosity in daily work, the courage in struggling for universal ideals.
The house was built in 1920 on the left shore of an ancient water channel, that was covered before the last war, not far away from the square-yarded farm BRUNETTI located at the centre of a large piece of cultivated land, The former Brunetti farm is today a modern park between new living blocks.
Many people lived in this house for 92 years, everyone of them has left a silent memory, a young girl in the 1930s who run in the shade of the courtyard and in the air the chirping of Canaries raised in the back-house garden, a young partisan from the Lanzo valleys during the last war with his hidden weapons in the cellars, an old couple in 1950, my father who purchased the building in 1956, his smoky laboratory in the courtyard, my mother, already old and tired in recent times, who in deep silence listened to the passing years hidden behind the white lace curtains.
My mother spent all her life inn this small suburban house, surrounded by living blocks built during the years of economic boom, an oasis of peace and quiet in a world, that seems to be too fast.
My Bed and Breakfast bears her name: Rosa.
Her life was an example of silent devotion and love for the territory, for the people, and in contrast with the populistic common places that seam to achieve overwhelming consensus, she represented the deep soul of Turin, hospitality and friendship to those who have come to work and always will come in the future.
My House is now open to the world, as my mother has always wanted to do, but never could.
On the street side facade you can see something from the old times, two plasterwork architectural friezes, window decorations usually available on fašades of buildings at the beginning of the last century
The house around 1930, viewed from the today courtyard. The little girl who played in the shadow of the courtyard, is looking at us from her remote time. At the place of the today's garage we see a Wisteria garden, all around fields and trees, a green area in a fading light of remembrance
the CARAGLIO street
January 27 1771
Mozart inTorino from January 14 till January 31 1771
Mozart father and son made three trips to Italy in late 1769 or early 1773. During this first of these trips, the longest one, Leopold Mozart and his son Wolfgang arrived in Turin from Milna Monday, January 14, 1771.
They stopped at the early 18th century former coaching inn (now Hotel Dogana Vecchia, via Corte d'appello 4) situatded in an extremely convenient location for foreigners coming by carriage from Milan.
The January 27, 1771 Wolfgang fulfills his fifteenth birthday in Turin, probably celebrating at the Inn where he was staying. Historical sources do not give information about the presumed activities of Mozart during that day.
Sunday morning January 27 1771.
Probably Mozart with his father did not stay the whole day in the Inn.
Probably on a horse-drawn carriage they left the Hotel dogana vecchia, headed down the road of Dora Grossa (now Via Garibaldi), in order to reach the city gate (Piazza Statuto), took the way (Via San Paolo) situated in front of the Citadel, and arrived at the Monastery of the spiritual exercises belonging to the Jesuit order, invited there for a brief meeting with the fathers. The Mozart family had a good relationship to the Jesuit order.
The Convent of Jesuit spiritual exercises "Fabbrica degli Esercizi Spirituali" was a Jesuit order owned building, founded around 1700 by the count Silverstro Olivero.
The Convent, a place of prayer, had a great renown throughout the region Piedmont, was situated in Borgo San Paolo fromer area, in the present-day Via Caraglio, at that tine only a footpath along the walls of the complex. The Convent was just a few steps from the Canal where my B&B is now situated.
Today the Convent does not exist any more.
In 1779 the Convent became a seminar, in 1866 was confiscated by the State,and transformed into a ammunition storage magazine for the Italian army. It was demolished in 1941 to allow the Lancia car manufacturer to expand. Today on the site of the 18th century historic site we find a mall and new housing blocks. A part of the St. Paolo Street became a parking lot.
Painting of Ignazio Sclopis exibited in the Racconigi castle reproducing the Convent in the second half of 18 century
The former building "Ammunition storage magazine" in 1941 shortly before demolition
Mozart and his father stayed only a couple of hours in the Convent.
Maybe Mozart approached a window, and he looked at incoming sunset.
He saw a series of canals in the cold and grey countryside.
A strange feeling of aneasy curiousity suddenly seized him, as if someone, invisible in the mist covering the wet fileds, standing at the place where my house will be erected in his future, as if this ghost from the future slightly bowed in front of him in a gesture of respect and gratitude for the eternal sound of his music, a fantastic bow expressing a deep dedication of the soul.
But it was only for a moment. Shortly after this fantastic view disapeared. Mozart left the window, the Convent and the district that did not exist as yet.
Perhaps Mozart visited the Caraglio street on this distant day inJanuary 1771, his visit is not probable, but it could be possible, in any case it was not confirmed by historical sources.
But his eternal music can still be heard in the Caraglio street, it will sound for ever, around the place, calmly, joyfully.
Maybe Mozart is still at the window of the lost Convent of the spiritual exercises, that does not exist anymore, waiting silently that his music will be able to make a miracle, to unite the people, to create comprehension and solidarity, love and tolerance among the people on earth.
The Convent in the second half of 19 century, and the place where may house will be erected