Via Garibaldi, 31 – Torino
The home in which Murialdo was born on October 26, 1828 and in which he lived until 1854 was located in this building, at the corner of Via Garibaldi and Via Stampatori. Later he moved with his brother Ernest on Via della Rocca, at the corner of Piazza Vittorio.
The name “Garibaldi” was given to the street in 1882, after the death of the Commander of the Thou-sand. Before that the street was called Dora Grossa because a water duct flowed through the middle the entire length of the street. The water came from the River Dora. Here and there little stone bridges allowed one to cross the “canal”. It was covered in 1830.
The apartment of the Murialdo family was on the third floor (fourth floor USA). Some of the windows opened unto Via Stampatori, others unto Via Dora Grossa. So that it can be read, the plaque commemorating the birth of Murialdo was placed at the level of the first floor (second).
Almost the whole block in between the streets Dora Grossa, Stampatori, Barbaroux and Saint Dalmatius (“Saint Alexius’ block”), in the past had belonged to Scaglia di Verrua noble family. In the course of time the many buildings of it had various owners, among whom the San Martino della Motta and the Balbo Bertone di Sambuy.
The eighteenth-century San Martino della Motta palace (later Balbo Bertone di Sambuy), in which Murialdo home was, faces via Garibaldi at the civic numbers 31 and 33. It was possible to go in the apartment from n. 31 of via Dora Grossa, but more often the Murialdo family used the entrance at via Stampatori, n. 10, now no more numbered, because it is closed and there is a shop.
At n. 33 of via Dora Grossa lived Leonard’s cousin, Fr. Robert Murialdo (1815-1882), he too committed for the poor youth: in facts he run the Guardian Angel Oratory and collaborated to the founding of the Collegio Artigianelli, which he always supported throughout his life.
The apartment of Murialdo was ample and elegant. In the will left by the father of Nadino (the nickname given to Leonard by his relatives) there is a description of it and at least twelve different ambiences are named: the entrance, the parlour, two sitting rooms, dining room, kitchen, study, corridor and four bedrooms. In addition there were two attics and a well-stocked wine cellar. One must remember that the Murialdo family was large: father, mother, six daughters (one died still a child) and two sons.
Leonard was grateful for all that God had given him through his family, “From my birth, God overwhelmed me with his blessings. My family was held in respect and enjoyed a certain measure of wealth. My father was an honest exchange agent and a practicing Catholic; my mother was a devout woman, exemplary, and very loving with her children – especially with me when I began my priestly formation”.
Leonard and Ernest left from this house to go in the boarding school at Savona, October 26, 1836, in the evening. They would not return to Turin until the summer of 1843.
From here also his sister left, for marriage, until Ernest and Leonard, the only ones left in the house, moved in 1854 in the apartment of via della Rocca, at the corner of piazza Vittorio.
Meanwhile his mother Teresa had died in this house on July 9, 1849 without seeing the priestly ordination of Leonard. He had just finished the fourth of five years of theological studies at that time.
Continuing along via Garibaldi, at the corner with via delle Orfane, there is the St. Dalmatius parish church.