Today we’re going to talk about the origins of the Waldesian temple of Roccapiatta, which has been built in the 16th century near to Rostagni hamlet. And about the establishing place I’d like to recount you a funny story…
In 1561, after many years of resistance to the persecutions, Waldesians had a truce after the Peace of Cavour. This treaty, which gave them more religious freedom, was stipulated between the ministers of the Waldesian Valleys and a delegate of Emanuele Filiberto, the Duke of Savoy.
To define where a new temple could be established, the Duke sent a commissioner who had to walk to the Pralarossa hamlet and choose the best place. He wasn’t, indeed, a great walker, and the more he walked up, the more he sweat and panted.
«Where is this place?», he was thinking, and after every step he used to towel his own face. After a while he arrived near Rostagni hamlet, and at a first sight he thought happily he was arrived. But he was not, and when the others who were with him told him that there was still a long way to go, he fell in anger. But he wasn’t able to walk up anymore, and exhausted and panting said: «Fabriché bélè-sì, mi vad pi nen lassù!», which literally means «Build (the temple) here, I’m not going over there!».
And so, the temple was built exactly where the commissioner of the Duke stretched out in the inviting fresh grass.
This building hosted a very important fact in the history of Waldesians. In 1686 the Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy ordered to the Waldesians, with an administrative act, to lay down the arms and to permit the entrance of Catholics missionaries. The decree gave also to the Waldesians the opportunity to take shelter abroad after the renounce to all their goods. The delegates of the Valleys decided to standoff with arms, and in the month of April the population started to gather to organize the defence.
But between the 22nd and the 23rd of April, the soldiers of the Duke attacked the area and destroyed the temple, which was rebuilt just in the 1700. In 1744, alas, this ill-fated temple was seriously damaged by a snowfall, but this time again was restructured.
There’s a curiosity also in the interior of the temple, where on the stone floor you can see today some inscriptions which prove that here were buried many influential persons, especially stranger Protestants serving the Duke of Savoy and the King of Sardegna.
How to get here:
from San Secondo di Pinerolo go straight on the Strada Provinciale 165 until San Bartolomeo. From Piazza della Libertà take the paved road on the left which runs downward. At the first fork follow the indications to Pagnoni, Chianforani, Lia. Go on for 1.5km. After a small group of houses, the road goes straight wit a little slope. In front of you there’s now a small road which goes down to some lawns: here you’ll find the temple.