In the province of Imperia, Liguria, nestled in the Argentina Valley, a few kilometers next to the French border there is Triora, a small medieval town with only 300 inhabitants; it is an ancient fortress of Genoa Republic, that owes its fame for presence of…witches.
The town, one of “The most beautiful Italian towns”, is known all over the world for its legends telling about women that in the past provided health and wellness of the whole community, thanks to their intimate knowledge of herbs and natural substances. Still nowadays Triora remembers its famous ancestors, and between Halloween night and November 1st the ancient town stages a big event made of potions, Tarots, magic and horror-themed masquerades.
Did the witches really exist in Triora? The story is different and sad, too. Ancient documents tell us about a trial occurred in 1588 when a group of women were accused of eresy, of being devil worshipers and held responsible for pestilences and cattle’s deaths. Actually they dedicated to folklore and superstitious rites, disapproved by the Church. Even if they were not condemned to the stake, their fate was forever marked by the Inquisition. Traces of this process and of the life in Triorat “witches” time can be found in Regional Ethnografic and Sorcery Museum, where, in addition to spaces dedicated to rural life, four underground halls document the hunting of heretics practiced at the end of the sixteenth century.
Visiting Triora is a real dip in the past: the town has completely maintained its characteristics, with its houses clinging to each other, its alleys, its cobbled streets, hidden courtyards. Beyond the museum in Triora you can visit San Bernardino church (XV century), Assunta’s Collegiata (XVIII century) and Sant’Agostino church, very rich of sacred artworks. Natural surroundings offers many attractions to sport lover tourists, like canyoning, climbing and trekking. Also sweet-toothed visitors will be very pleased: enjoy biological products like jams and preserves, Bruss cheese, creamy and strong flavoured, but especially Triora’s bread, made with flour type 1 and baked on bran, round shaped with a crunchy crust.
Triora is perfect for a Sunday short trip: for those arriving by car from Genoa, take A10 highway Genova-Ventimiglia with direction Ventimiglia and exit Arma di Taggia, then follow directions to Taggia and at the crossroad continue for Triora. For those arriving from Turin you have to get to Savona and then enter the A10 towards Ventimiglia, following the previous indications.
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