Built in 1358, the castle, known as the Conte Verde since its construction was promoted by Amedeo VI of Savoy, thus nicknamed, represents the monument-symbol of Ivrea. “It stands out on the horizon of the urban landscape with the characteristic shape of the medieval castle. – said, years ago, in an in-depth study, Adriana Giusti Burbatti, architect and professor of restoration at the Polytechnic of Turin -. Brick walls, four towers with rounded corners, merlones, corbels, walkways, are the most incisive signs of its identity. A monument-document with which the city is identified, with the traces of a long history, attested by its persistence through the great urban transformations ».
Used as a prison from the 17th century to 1970, the castle, however, has kept in the collective imagination the inappropriate combination of its imposing structure with the long prison function. The majestic building, built at various times between 1358 and 1395, was also actually the popular residence of the Counts of Savoy.
Chronicles of the time report that on September 5, 1390 the Conte Rosso dined there “cum Dominabus” (mother Bona di Borbone and his wife Bona di Berry)) and with many Ivorian citizens; That same night, during the dance that followed, the Moresca was also danced, an oriental dance for which – as Carandini wrote – “certain bells were needed, the expense of which gave the accountant the opportunity to notice the fact.”
It was the historian Ferdinando Gabotto who recalled that the castle welcomed all the great princesses, duchesses and countesses of the 15th and 16th centuries, Ana de Cyprus, Jolanda de Francia, Bianca de Monferrato, Filiberta de Saboya and Menca de Braganza.
In Book I of Adrianèo, the manuscript, the work of a certain Antonino, which collects the detailed chronicle of the ceremonies, tournaments and various entertainment organized on the occasion of the baptism of Prince Adriano di Savoia (born in the castle of Ivrea on November 19 1522), son of Duke Carlos III of Savoy and Beatriz of Portugal, the rooms, furniture, tapestries, the landscape enjoyed from a balcony, the ceremony that took place on December 14 and the games that ended the party at night. .
In the general rejoicing, between games of chess and cards, the noble joyful meeting of the ladies listens attentively to the beauty advice of an elderly Castilian woman to whiten teeth, make freckles disappear, soften the skin of the hands and face and firm up . the breasts with a prescription capable of recovering their tone for at least two months.
The author of Adrianèo described the atmosphere of the room where the dance was held in this way: “Not only was the Spatiossa salla lit with glowing and fiery benders, but also steliferj et rutilanti ochij from a legiadre damicelle drapellet”. A festive and elegant atmosphere found at dinner, consumed in her own rooms in the castle, by the puerperal, Duchess Beatrice, “sitting on two cushions with the back of the nearby bed, had in front of her a very low square table , which is no longer ‘a foot from the ground, and prepared with very fine and fragrant tablecloths’.
More than a century after Hadrian’s baptism, on June 20, 1648, the castle hosted the celebration of another great solemnity and it was when Maria Cristina of France, Madama Reale, widow of Vittorio Amedeo I, deposed the regency assumed eleven years before and had his fourteen year old son proclaimed reigning duke. The castle, that day, “resounded with the thunder of artillery and the sounds of magnificent parties”, while the very young Carlo Emanuele II, assuming the ducal crown, received the first homages of loyalty from Ivrea. Home and dwelling, even before it was completely transformed into a prison: it was to these and other brief chronicles that the scholar Angelo Pietra perhaps referred to hope, in 1953, if the castle had ceased its prison function and the City Hall it would finally have come into possession, that the residential part was restored “transformed by a babel of superstructures accumulated over time.” Any suggestions to take today? –