The “Società dell’allegria”
The inscription refers to the club founded by John Bosco and his friends. The club rules, made up of three articles, laid down that members had to behave as good Christians, do their own school and religious work and, especially, be cheerful. Every day of rest, after college, the members went to the church of St. Anthony to attend the catechism held by the Jesuit fathers.
The Hotel, Albergo del Muletto
This building was located at the bottom of the square, Piazza San Bernardino, on Via Maestra, and belonged to Marco Balbiano from Andezeno. The premises must have been quite elegant, because in 1856 Prince Umberto and his servants stayed there. When John Bosco accepted the challenge and defeated the professional acrobat, near the Porta Torinese gate, instead of accepting the 240 lire he had won, he suggested that the loser should offer lunch in the Albergo del Muletto for himself and his twenty two college mates, which cost the acrobat only 45 lire.