The house of Giacomo Marchisio
The building with its entrance on Via dei Mercanti number 9 (nowadays Via Carlo Alberto), the property of Giacomo Marchisio, was rented as a residence by Lucia Pianta, originally from Murialdo, as was the Bosco family. She was the widow of Matta, who gave lodgings to the student John Bosco in his years at school from 1831 to 1833. Mrs Pianta’s son, Giovanni Battista, lived in the same house and, while he was not a bad boy, he was not in the least interested in scholastic instruction. It was within these walls that John Bosco had his first experience as an educator, by giving remedial lessons to the son of his landlady and making him interested in studying. Thanks to the excellent results he achieved, John Bosco was excused from paying the rent.
The house of the Theologian, Maloria
Further to the left, there was the home of the theologian, Giuseppe Maloria, canon of the Collegiate of Chieri and John Bosco’s confessor. A mutual friendship soon arose between the two and to quote the words of Don Bosco: “He received me with great kindness whenever I went to see him. Indeed, he encouraged me to take confession and visit him more frequently. At that time it was quite rare to find someone who encouraged attendance of the Sacraments. I have my confessor to thank, if I have managed to be good.”