As a poet I have always wondered if I could write prose? I can do essays and blog posts but to write a novel was in fact something that always scared me. So I began to work on a novel a few years ago and as part of that work I began to research my family tree for interesting characters and stories. I come from an interesting bunch that ranges from southern Italian rock farmers to it appears aristocratic nobiles from Brescia.
There is a character from my personal history who was always an enigma to my family. My Grandmother Matilde was named after her and was her favorite grandchild and this person was my ancestor and Great Great Grandmother Nobile Metilde Gorno. Nonna Metilde we were always told was a Nobile and that she came from a great family but she chose to marry my great great grandfather, Luigi Guerra who owned a hotel and restaurant and whose name I bear in my middle name. I always wondered why she would leave a life of privilege in the 1870's?
While that mystery has not been solved of why she would marry my ancestor who was known for running a great restaurant. I have found out so much about her family that none of my Grandmother's siblings or my mother's cousins knew about.
They were not only nobles but have a fascinating history. They survived the black death as one of the few families in their town and rose to prominance. My wife Waltraud and I went to their town last month on a vacation and it became evident how prominent they were with palaces and streets named after them. and one of of their forefathers one Scipio Conde di Luzzago was a Crusader. If you have ever seen the Verdi Opera i Lombardi it is about his Crusade.
The world is a very small place and all history is personal.