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Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi, located at the intersection of Alfieri and XX Settembre streets, just a few steps from Piazza San Carlo, was built between 1673 and 1677 by Amedeo di Castellamonte on commission from the Kingdom’s Minister of Finance, Giovanni Battista Trucchi, Count of Levaldigi. The palace features a unique diagonal entrance facade, which deviates from the typical perpendicular layout of the city.

Externally, it appears solid, robust, and severe, with an imposing entrance portal. The interiors were modified and readapted in the early 20th century. Since 1939, it has served as the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.

Il portone del diavolo

The most relevant aspect of the palace is its entrance gate. Original from 1675 and sculpted in a Parisian workshop, it is known as the Portone del Diavolo (Devil’s Door). The knocker depicts the devil with two serpents whose heads meet at the center. Other carvings on the gate include a mouse, somehow evoking the devil. Legend has it that the gate appeared overnight, a feat possible only with the devil’s assistance. It is said that the devil himself placed the gate, annoyed by an apprentice sorceress who invoked him. He closed it behind her, and it never opened again.

Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi
Il Portone del Diavolo (The Devil’s Door)

Murder at Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi

In 1790, when the palace belonged to Marianna Carolina di Savoia, a tragic incident occurred at Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi. During a carnival party, Emma Cochet, the lead ballerina, was suddenly stabbed to death. Simultaneously, a violent storm with wind, rain, and lightning shattered the palace windows, plunging it into darkness. Terrified guests, including the elusive murderer, fled. The weapon was never found, but sightings of Emma Cochet’s ghost persist. Some even speak of a painting depicting the dancer amidst flames, appearing the day after the murder.

Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi
Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi

The missing officer

During the Napoleonic era in the early 1800s, when the French controlled the city and the palace served governmental functions, a strange incident occurred at Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi. Major Melchiorre Du Perril, an officer, entered the palace for a quick meal while his coachman waited outside. However, the Major never exited the palace; he vanished within its walls. Approximately twenty years later, during renovation work, laborers discovered a skeleton buried upright inside a wall, still wearing tattered uniform remnants.

Devil’s Gate Door Knocker

The coincidence of Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi?

In the 1700s, Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi was located at civic number 15. On May 15, 1738, the ground floor of the building hosted the first Tarot Factory, a game associated with the number 15 and the devil. Interestingly, today, the bus that stops near the palace corresponds to Turin’s public transportation Line 15. Coincidence?

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