A visit to the Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Royal Church of Saint Lawrence, in Turin, NW Italy. "Royal" refers to the Savoia (Savoy) family, who ruled first Piedmont, then whole Italy, until 1946. This experimental Baroque church was built, or rather rebuilt, as a vow after the Battle of Saint Quentin of August 10, 1557: a very important episode in the 16-17th century war between France and Spain for the control of Italy. The Spaniards won, led by Duke Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy. The battle can be seen sculpted on the monument to Emanuele Filiberto in Piazza San Carlo (Saint Charles Square) in downtown Turin. The plaque inside Saint Lawrence's Church, set four centuries later, reads:
Here, where an old chapel rose
dedicated to Saint Mary "Ad Praesepe"
and to the holy deacon Lawrence, the martyr,
the Holy Shroud was put down,
transferred from Chambéry to Turin
by the will of Duke Emanuele Filiberto.
Here in the morning of October 10, 1578,
Saint Carlo Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan,
worshiped the Savior's wounds
and celebrated the Eucharistic Sacrifice
before a praying crowd;
blending into them, there asked for peace,
restless and lonely, Torquato Tasso.