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Nostradamus, pseudonym of Michel de Nostredame, was a French astrologer, writer, pharmacist, and apothecary. He is best known for his book Les Prophéties, which contains 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events. These prophecies were written in a cryptic manner, often hidden within wordplay across various languages such as Provençal, Greek, Latin, Italian, Arabic, and Hebrew. Although he intended to write a thousand quatrains, only 942 were published.

The prophecies

The Prophecies of Nostradamus have always divided scholars, historians, skeptics, and believers. For example, Catherine de’ Medici, an admirer of Nostradamus, invited him to the court of King Henry II of France to create horoscopes for the royal family.

Despite the difficulty in reading and interpreting the Prophecies correctly, some argue that Nostradamus was able to predict events such as the French Revolution, the atomic bomb, Hitler’s rise to power, and the attacks on the Twin Towers.

Nostradamus
Nostradamus

On the other hand, many believe that it is a form of retroactive clairvoyance. The quatrains are written in such an ambiguous, complicated, and intelligent manner that anyone can interpret and adapt them as they see fit in hindsight. Consequently, no one has ever been able to extract reliable data or information for the future. Interestingly, the only three times Nostradamus specified precise dates, he was spectacularly wrong: the complete destruction of humanity in 1732 did not occur, the long religious persecution predicted for 1792 never happened, and we successfully surpassed the supposed end of the world in 1999.

Nostradamus, suffering from gout, died in 1566. Tradition holds that the night before his death, he told his secretary that he would not be found alive the next morning. He was buried at the Collegiate Church of Saint-Laurent and later moved to Salon-de-Provence, where he rests to this day.

Nostradamus in Turin

A character with these characteristics and a magical city like Turin could not fail to intersect.

The first written testimony regarding Nostradamus’s possible stay in Turin dates back to 1786, published in the Nouveau Dictionnaire Historique. In 1807, a certain H. Carena reported the dimensions (51cm x 38cm) of a plaque commemorating the physician’s passage through Turin.

However, the most comprehensive article is the one by Corrado Pagliani, which appeared in the 1934 issue of the magazine Torino. According to Pagliani, Nostradamus resided at the Cascina Morozzo, located in the Pellerina area. He also provides a photograph of the commemorative plaque, which reads:

1556
NOTRE DAMUS A LOGE ICI
ON IL HA LE PARADIS LENFER
LE PURGATOIRE IE MA PELLE
LA VICTOIRE QUI MHONORE
AVRALA GLOIRE QUI ME
MEPRISE OVRA LA
RUINE HNTIERE

The translation should correspond to:

1556
NOSTRADAMUS STAY HERE
WHERE IS PARADISE, HELL,
PURGATORY MY NAME IS
VICTORY WHO HONORS ME
WILL HAVE GLORY WHO ME
DESPISE WILL HAVE THE
COMPLETE RUIN

According to some interpretations, the “Victory” mentioned in the inscription could refer to a Savoy princess who owned the farmhouse. However, Pagliani’s research in the municipal archives does not reveal any Princess Vittoria of Savoy during that period.

The Nostradamus plaque

The farmhouse was completely demolished in the 1930s to make way for other constructions. With the demolition, the plaque was also lost, but it was rediscovered in 1967 by Bellagarda. It had been kept in the private residence of lawyer Momigliano, the last owner of the farmhouse. Today, it appears that the current owner is Renucio Boscolo, one of the foremost interpreters of Nostradamus’s writings.

Nostradamus
Nostradamus’ tombstone reproduced manually by C. Pagliani.

The plaque is the only tangible evidence of Nostradamus’s passage through Turin. However, the evidence is not quite solid enough to definitively assert his presence in Turin. For instance, Juditta Denbech suggests that Nostradamus’s visit to Turin in 1556 was related to his shared interest with the House of Savoy in alchemy.

Nostradamus and Savoy family

The legend tells of Nostradamus being summoned to the court by Emanuele Filiberto to combat the sterility of his wife, Margherita di Valois, who had not yet given him an heir. It is reasonable to assume that this encounter occurred between 1560 and 1561, as they married in 1559 and their son, Carlo Emanuele I, was born in January 1562. Some documents mention a meeting between the duke and Nostradamus in 1561 in Nice, not Turin.

Margherita di Valois
Wife of Emanuele Filiberto duca di Savoia

Despite their physical and temperamental differences, the two eventually had a son. Rumor has it that Nostradamus did more than administer ointments and treatments to the duchess.

According to tradition, at Carlo Emanuele’s birth, Nostradamus predicted his adventurous life and even his death: he would die on the road to Jerusalem when a nine faced a seven.

The prophecy seemed to promise a long life for Carlo Emanuele, up to 97 years. However, the prophecy unfolded somewhat differently. Carlo Emanuele died at the age of 69, aligning with the nine preceding the seven. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but Palazzo Cravetta in Savigliano, where Carlo Emanuele passed away, still stands on Via Jerusalem today.

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