History and Facts
Located in the province of Turin, Pinerolo, Italy is an old walled city that lies near the Lemina and Chisone valleys. The town of Pinerolo has a long history of occupation, primarily by the French. Pinerolo was occupied by the French five times between the 15th and 18th centuries.
This town with a population of over 30,000 inhabitants is dotted with shops, arcades, busy streets café’s.
Best Things to Do in Pinerolo, Italy
At the center of town is the Piazza del Duomo which contains the 9th century Cathedral of Saint Donato and its’ beautiful campanile.
The Via Principi d’Acaia goes up to a 14th century palace, the Palazzo dei Principi d’Acaia dating from 1318. The palace was once home to a branch of the Savoy family who were rulers of the city.
At the bottom of the Via Principi d’Acaia is the Casa del Vicario e Senato (Senate House) which includes a museum.
The 15th century gothic church of San Maurizio is located near the palace. From the belfry of San Maurizio you will have a beautiful view of the Alps and the surrounding plains.
San Maurizio sits on the site of an old citadel destroyed by King Vittorio Amedeo when he was forced to return the town to Cardinal Richelieu.
Additional Things To do in Pinerolo
Other sites in and around Pinerolo, Italy are:
Saint Augustine’s church
The Cavalry museum in the former Principe Amedeo barracks
Town Art Collection in Palazzo Vittone
Museum of Prehistoric Art and the Ethnographic (folklore) Museum – the ethnographic museum contains furniture, clothes and tools used to survive in the surrounding mountains through history.
Pinerolo was the site of the curling events at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games. The curling events were held in the 2,000 seat Pinerolo Palaghiaccio.
Man In The Iron Mask
Other than curling, the thing that Pinerolo is most famous for is the imprisonment of The Man in the Iron Mask in the nearby 17th century Fortezza di Fenestrelle (Fortress of Pignerol). Pinerolo at that time was a part of France. Because his face was hidden by mask his true identity was never known. The subject of many books and movies the prisoner is normally depicted as wearing an iron mask when in reality it was a mask of black velvet cloth.
Born Eustache Dauger the speculation about his identity arose shortly after his death when rumors began to sirculate about who this mad was. Theories abound claiming that he was everything from a half-brother of King Louis XIV to the illegitimate son of King Charles XIV.
There have been numerous books written about The Main in the Iron Mask including the most famous by Alexandre Dumas, The Man in The Iron Mask. In fact, the Man in the Iron Mask was actually the last chapter of a book called The Vicomte de Bragelonne. Over 15 movies about the Man in the Iron Mask have been made staring everyone from Douglas Fairbanks to Leonardo DiCaprio. He (the one thing that is known is that it is a he behind the mask) also makes numerous appearances in books and movies about the Three Musketeers.