The first time I saw her, I was so relieved that the Dogaressa (the Doge’s wife) doesn’t look as strange as her husband! The doge is the living symbol of our city, while his dignified wife (who looks like a queen) takes the role of patroness of the convents, orphanages, and guilds. My friends tell me she had a grand coronation ceremony–I wish I could have been here to see it!
Lion of Saint Mark (Vittore Carpaccio, 1516) (PD-art)
My first Festa di San Marco in Venice came and went, and I missed it! While I was sick in bed, all of Venice celebrated the arrival of our patron saint’s body in 878. Venetians insist that Saint Mark preached the gospel in Venice, so they show him special affection. Now his emblem—the winged lion holding an open book in his paws—belongs to our city. The words on the open pages tell us God sends His peace, along with the remains of Mark His Evangelist.
Papa brought me a rosebud that day (April 25th). He told me it’s also Festa del bocolo, when a man gives a rosebud to the woman he loves. I wish Mamma could have been here to receive it, but the sweet custom still cheered my feverish mind.
What would Renaissance Italy look like, seen through the eyes of someone who lived through it?
Lucia is the only child of a medical professor and former nun. In an age where few boys and even fewer girls even learned to read, she receives a Renaissance education in Latin and Greek classics.
This blog reveals Lucia’s perspective on her tumultuous era.