Villa Ottelio-Savorgnan

The villa at Ariis di Rivignano Teor is special because it was the setting of a tragedy that seems to have inspired Shakespeare. After recent careful research, the English professor Cecil Clough came to the conclusion that the true protagonists of the Shakespearian tragedy are the Friulian Lucina Savorgnan, who spent her summer holidays here, and her cousin Luigi Da Porto.
Lucina and Luigi both belonged to the Savorgnan family, powerful Udine lords. It was in the Savorgnan family palace in Udine at a carnival party in 1511 that the two young people first met and fell so hopelessly in love that they were betrothed in secret. However, the respective families who were fighting amongst themselves would never have accepted their relationship.
Fate was not kind to the young couple: several months later, Luigi was seriously injured in battle and was paralysed. In the meantime, Lucina, due to political and financial practicalities, was forced to marry Francesco Savorgnan. A soldier but also a man of letters, Luigi Da Porto decided to tell of his sad fate in the novel ‘Giuletta e Romeo’, changing the names of the protagonists and places to disguise the autobiographical origins of his story.
The novel underwent several alterations up to William Shakespeare’s final version that we all know and love.
What is [love] else? a madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet? (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)


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