La Basilica di Superga has a special place in my heart. From here we can appreciate a beautiful view and enjoy this majestic church built between 1717 and 1731, under Vittorio Amedeo II Duke of the Savoia family and designed by Juvarra, one of the most famous Italian architects. During the Spanish war of secession Torino was under French attack and in 1706 that Duke Vittorio Amedeo II went on the Collina di Superga and promised a church to Our Lady if the Savoiardi were victorious…. as you can see they won and this is the ‘church’… but only tow loaves of bread a month for Pietro Micca’s widow…
La collina di Superga became also sadly famous as on the 4th of May in 1949 at 17:03 when the ‘Grande Torino’ football team had their fatal plane crash and they all lost their lives. Since then, the 4th of May was designated ‘world football day’ by FIFA. It was a tragedy and the Torino fans, including my father, still remember and talk about that great team who were so good they made up almost the entire national team at that time.
Some of you may know that in Torino there are 2 football teams: Torino and Juventus. When I was a child my father used to tell me that the original people from Torino (I Torinesi such himself and his family) would support the Torino team, while people who migrated from the South in order to find a job in Fiat, would support Juventus. I don’t know if this is true, but Wikipedia says that Juventus Football club was bought by Edoardo Agnelli in 1923… so it might be.
The Agnelli family founded Fiat in 1899. Fiat brought hundreds of thousands of people from the South of Italy up to the North. Turin was said to be ‘the third southern Italian town after Naples and Palermo’. The integration between these 2 different worlds, was not without difficulties. Initially, the people from the South suffered because of discrimination and homesickness while people from the North found the houses they rented to immigrants destroyed with goats camping in their front rooms and tomatoes in their tubs… we don’t know what came first (the goat or the discrimination), but nowadays it is very difficult to find a Torinese purosangue (thoroughbred). In fact, we all are fruit of the integration which finally won over prejudices, misunderstandings and real differences. I am myself a mix between a man from Piemonte and a woman from Sardegna. Grazie a Dio!