Turin: A Literary Tour of the City of Magic

Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Est. 4.3km / 1 hr 26 mins / Map

Turin: A Literary Tour of the City of Magic - Cya On The Road

“Here is a city I hold so dear. In fact, the only one. Quiet, almost solemn. A timeless land for eyes and feet. A breath of the best eighteenth century with palaces which speak to the heart and are not just Renaissance fortresses. And then you can see the Alps from the city centre! These long roads that seem to lead in a straight line to the August snowy peaks! The air is serene and sublimely clear. I would never have believed that a city, thanks to the light, could become so beautiful“.This is how Friedrich Nietzsche described Turin in 1888.The capital city of Piedmont at the foot of the Alps is a city of literature with its bookshops, historical cafés, squares, and porticoes, which fascinated intellectuals, writers, and philosophers and influenced their history, their spirit, and their works. They include Francois Rabelais, the Marquis de Sade, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Alexandre Dumas, Fyodor Dostoevsky and even Hans Christian Andersen. And that's not including the great Italian authors. Perhaps it is not by chance that one of Italy's most significant publishing houses, Einaudi, was established here in 1933.Turin has always been an attractive tourist and cultural centre, but there is something more to know. The idea of an artistic destination shrouded by a royal city was in accord with Turin’s other notable feature: its weird association with magic, madness, and the occult. Here was where an alarming number of artists and philosophers had suffered crippling depressions or existential crises or had gone crazy: the epic poet Torquato Tasso, the young Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the novelist Primo Levi. It was on or near the wide trolley-crossed thoroughfare Via Po where Nietzsche famously saw a horse being maltreated, rushed to embrace it, and then collapsed, suffering a fit of madness from which he would never recover.This literary walk that I designed will allow you to discover this surprising and mysterious city, following in the footsteps of some great writers who lived, worked, and were inspired here.

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