Triora is a medieval village that dominates the entire Argentina Valley from its 780 meters height, in western Liguria. It is known, above all, because of the important trial for witchcraft which took place here between 1587 and 1589. Nevertheless, there’s much more to Triora.
The town preserves intact all the magic of its past. It combines a unique architectural heritage with an absolutely privileged environmental location. Today, however, there’s no sign of the five hundred “fires” lit in the mid-sixteenth century, yet it’s still partially marked by the German troops’ destruction which took place in 1944. It nevertheless still offers distinct emotions to those who walk its narrow streets.
Triora owes the origin of its name to the Latin – tria ora, meaning three mouths: those of the Cerberus represented in the coat of arms. According to some, it indicates the three rivers that converge where the territory is located, while according to others, the three main products (wheat, chestnuts and vines) on which its economy was based in the past.
The old village, although partially depopulated and still marked by the damage perpetrated by the Germans in 1944, continues to retain a remarkable charm.
And now that the reconstruction of the buildings that made its history (Capponi, Borelli and Stella) have begun, a new phase could commence for the town. Try observing its profile in the evening from the Colomba d’Oro hotel terrace. If there’s a full moon, the magic is guaranteed.
Speaking of magic
There are many places that emanate an ineffable sense of mystery, an adhesion to the forces of nature. The Cabotina above all, because seeing the ruins you can’t help but think about what happened in there. Try to imagine the reasons that made girls and women from Triora go there after the Ave Maria prayers or late at night.
Or the “Monte delle Forche”, a place so heart wrenching that it is incredible to think that people actually came here to die while looking at Triora from above. And finally, the climb up to the cemetery, “similar to a fortress destined to the last defense”, wrote Bacchelli, because it was housed in one of the five fortresses.
And a walk through the village, inside the carugi, under the vaults and arches carved in the rock. In the dark areas of dilapidated houses, it feels like going back in time. A sort of medieval bewilderment overlooking gloomy porticoes, dark allies, stairs and catacomb-like streets blackened by centuries of smoke, fires or Nazi explosives. To re-emerge in the sun and in the bright light of the Argentina Valley is almost a liberation…