Alessandro Manzoni and The Betrothed set in Lecco, where he was usual to spent his summer holidays at Villa Manzoni.
Alessandro Manzoni (March 7, 1785- May 22, 1873) is strictly connected to Lecco and thanks to him our town has an echo all over the world for his literary masterpiece: The Betrothed.
Son of Count Pietro Manzoni, a noble family of Valsassina, and Giulia Beccaria, daughter of the famous jurist Cesare Beccaria, author of On Crimes and Punishments, Alessandro Manzoni has a troubled childhood because of the separation of the parents and his education is related to religious colleges: firstly fathers Somaschi in Merate and then Barnabiti ones in Lugano. Then he lives his youth with his father between Milan and Paris, where his mother resided.
His life is marked by numerous family deaths, which deeply marked his soul, but at the same time also mark a very fruitful period from a literary point of view: he composes “Pentecost”, the “Observations on Catholic morality”, which represents a precious document of psychological sensitivity of Manzoni, the tragedy “Adelchi”, the odes “March 1821” and “The fifth of May”, inspired by the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, and starts the writing of the novel ” Fermo and Lucia “, then released in 1827 under the title “The Betrothed “, but whose second and final draft will take place later in 1840, with the so-called Edition Quarantana.
Lecco is the holiday place of the young Manzoni, in fact he was usually to spent his summers at Villa Manzoni and this land, so rich of natural beauty with that branch of Lake Como and its surrounding mountains, it has been chosen by the writer as the setting for the romantic novel par excellence of Italian literature.
At Villa Manzoni you can visit the Manzoni Museum, full of original documents, objects and furnishings that belonged to the famous writer.
Cover image: portrait of Manzoni, F. Hayez, 1841 – Pinacoteca di Brera Milano