You are here


In August 1474 four women from Levone, a small town nestled in the countryside of Canavese, in the province of Turin, were accused of witchcraft. These were Antonia de Alberto, Francesca and Bonaveria Viglone, Margarota Braya.

The charges were the deaths of some children.

Often, the women who were tried were either healers or girls who were marginalized and different from the rest of the community.

However, times were difficult, malnutrition caused high mortality among children, only one in three children did not make it past the age of five. Among these white deaths were also the two sons of the podestà of Levone, Bartolomeo Pasquale, and the two daughters of Giovanni Francesco Valperga di Rivara, lord of Levone, who had probably received the care of the four women but, instead of recovering, died.

One of them managed to escape, while two were accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.

Even today, traces of the superstitions that unfortunately killed many innocent women can still be found: crosses or small sculptures can be seen on some of the houses in the village that were used to make it clear that witches should stay away. In one house, for example, there is an upside-down cross with the date 1666 bearing the number of the devil.