The villages of witches in Italy: magical places of the past and present

If you love the sinister atmosphere and look for a  place “bewitched” for your holidays, scattered throughout Italy there are several villages that are just right for you.

In semi – forgotten areas of our country, in fact, small towns characterized by a chatter presence of witches (in the past, or even in the present! ) Are not lacking.

One of the most famous is certainly Triora . Nestled in the Maritime Alps (precisely in the Argentina valley), this small town of 355 souls in the province of Imperia is known for two reasons : its typical buckwheat bread and the witch process that housed in the second half of the sixteenth century. The village still retains a halo of mystery thanks to its maze of narrow streets characterized by a multitude of arches, slate houses and gloomy places to avoid at sunset : decorations composed of brooms, black cats , oxen, stone heads and mysterious characters they are in fact scattered everywhere.

Instead, the thousand inhabitants of  Rifreddo , the center of the province of Cuneo dominated by the sight of Monviso. So called by virtue of a document dating back to 1075  in which it was called Rivus Frigidus (“Cold River”), this mountain village of the Cozie Alps that stands on the slopes of Mount Bracco hosted a  witch trial in 1495  and the City still today keeps the minutes. The nights of  “ Terrore nel Borgo   (a theatrical path through the dark alleyways of Rifreddo) have become one of the main events in the tourist planning of Cuneo.

The inhabited center of Calcata , which is less than 50 km from Rome (in the province of Viterbo), comes close to the thousand inhabitants . Perched on a mountain of tufa , this village that dominates the valley of the river Treja is quite inaccessible: from Calcata new you can reach it only on foot , a detail that may have contributed to building its fame . The houses here are brown in color, the same as the tufaceous rock in which they sink their foundations (in fact they seem a natural extension of the hill ) and the particular position makes the wind “sound” , which resembles the song of some strange witch .

Attention then to some dark castles scattered in our national territory. That of San Giorgio Canavese (Turin), which also hosted ‘Elisa di Rivombrosa’, is said to be infested with the spirit of a girl whose name can not even be pronounced , that of Malpaga (Bergamo) from a nobleman killed in the ‘500 because he is secretly in love with the castle. Thrown into the well, since then it would wander in a discreet and silent way for the manor. In Salsomaggiore Terme (Parma) there is instead the castle of Scipione , entirely open to visitors and which includes secret, fifteenth-century prisons and mysterious areas from the name (Sala delle Armi, Salottino del Diavolo, North Wing Salt).

We close our tour with the story of Cimego , a town that even … no longer exists. In fact, since 1 January 2016, this village in the Trentino Valle del Chiese has merged with other hamlets in the new town of Borgo Chiese. Here (especially in the village of Quartinago that has 25 inhabitants ) in the Christmas period there are always parties that look like sabbatical : to dance around fires where you prepare the polenta flour of Storo, in fact, there are witches of all ages .

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