– Torre-porta di Oglianico

The entrance to the Borgo is through a tower, a faithful replica of the gate-tower of the Ricetto di Oglianico.

The quadrangular building, made of stone masonry, has a triangular crenellated brick tower, the belfry, at top right. This was originally a watchtower. There are two openings in the tower, the main entrance door and the postern, a smaller door for pedestrians. Towards the inside, the tower is open and divided into four levels by three wooden mezzanines, which in the Middle Ages could have been easily dismantled in the event of an enemy invasion, allowing the besieged to find refuge on the upper floor. The last level, unlike the others, is enclosed by a wooden wall. The access to the two gates of the building is made possible by two drawbridges with a bolzoni (protruding-arm winch) over the moat.

The lower part of the tower is plastered and painted with a great wealth of pictorial decorations, reproducing models taken from the Malgrà Castle near Rivarolo Canavese and from Porta Soprana in Genoa. At the top is the scene of the Annunciation with the Angel; at the bottom is painted the coat of arms of the Counts of San Martino, the ancient owners of Malgrà Castle, and a warrior on horseback to whom an angel holds out his helmet. Between the two entrance doors to the tower, a wild man with a stick is depicted, the homo salvaticus, a symbolic guardian placed to protect the Borgo and warn those entering to adopt an “urban” attitude. Above the postern is a shield supported by an angel, while the main door is surrounded by painted architectural elements simulating stone ashlars. The two windows, like other buildings in the Borgo, are surrounded by red and white decorative bands.


BORGO MEDIEVALE – Viale Virgilio, 107 (Parco del Valentino) 10126 Torino


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