“A l'è ‘ndait dal cul”

At the base of the ancient tower of the Municipality "there was a landing covered by a stone, on which the condemned to public ridicul were exposed on market days and especially on Saturdays. Another very strange costume reminds us of this stone: the shopkeepers who went bankrupt were forced to sit down and, more properly, to beat the naked backside on the stone in the presence of the public, who numerous witnessed this scandalous punishment ". So says Giuseppe Torricella of the punishment known as the "painful stone" maintained until 1853 which generated the Piedmontese phrase "a l'è‘ ndait dal cul " to say "go bankrupt".

A detail of the eighteenth-century painting depicting Piazza delle Erbe, where a failed shopkeeper is painted subjected to the torture of the "painful stone" at the civic tower

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