Today we are in a beautiful panoramic area overlooking the village of Angrogna, in Pellice Valley, which is known as “lou Couént ” (i.e.: “the Convent”) .
This place got its name from an old building that once stood here (and that is now completely destroyed), which used to host the monks involved in converting the Waldensians. The church you can see in the picture was built in the 14th century and is dedicated to St. Lawrence (and it also gives its name to the town center of Angrogna). Next to the church there is also a small Catholic cemetery, while the Waldensian one is located in front of the temple, a few hundred yards downstream.
The age of religious repression must have deeply impressed the minds of people from Angrogna, who then recalled the events of that era, somewhen definitely overstating those events because of ancient fears recalling the time of persecution.
It is said that the convent had underground tunnels and scary burrows where Waldensian children taken away from their families were locked up and forced to grow up in the Catholic faith and then sent to the city to study in the greatest religious schools.
But it seems that in this place an even more terrible event happened: in the second half of the 19th century there used to be in Angrogna a Catholic mayor whose children had quarreled with a man (whose name is not remembered).
One Sunday, during the Mass, a man behaved in such a bad way and causing such a brawl that the priest had to stop the function; the priest, enraged, tried to find the culprit asking for information to the mayor, who immediately took advantage of the situation and accused, even without any evidence, his children’s enemy. It is said that the man was brought in the basement, and he never came out of the convent… No one ever knew what happened to him, his body mysteriously disappeared and was never found any more… What a gloomy story, don’t you think?!
How to get here
from Provincial Road 161, between Torre Pellice and Luserna San Giovanni, at the roundabout take the road to Angrogna (you’ll also find the traffic signals to Gueiza d’la Tana, Chabas and Vaccera). Follow the road and you’ll get to the main square of the town, then turn right taking a fairly steep rise and in 300 meters you will reach the square of St. Lawrence church.
Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?