In keeping with the Valentine’s week theme of amore, today we recognize three famous Italian couples, known not only for their passion and unyielding devotion, but for the trials, obstacles and tribulations they went through to be together.
1. Paolo e Francesca
Described by Dante Alighieri in what is considered to be the central epic poem of Italian literature, Paolo e Francesca are ill-fated lovers we meet in Dante’s Second Circle of Hell. Francesca confesses to committing adultery with her brother-in-law (Paolo) and is killed by her jealous husband. (Ouch. I’m guessing divorce wasn’t an option.)
2. Romeo e Giulietta
Most of us studied these star-cross’d lovers in junior high, but the Shakespearean tale of first love’s fierce devotion is a story for the ages. And while we know them as Romeo and Juliette, Romeo e Giulietta were, in fact from Verona, making them full-blooded Italians, rather than 16th Century Englishmen.
3. Renzo e Lucia
Immortalized through the words of Alessandro Manzoni, Renzo and Lucia are the devoted young couple who overcomes jealousy, famine, plague and war to reunite and be married. Considered one of the most widely read novels in Italian, I Promessi Sposi, or The Betrothed begins in an unknown village in Lombardy near Como.
In addition to the three afore-mentioned couples, I’m crazy about Guinevere and Lancelot, Robin Hood and Maid Marion and Kermit and Ms. Piggy … Who are some of your favorite couples of all time?
Haven’t heard about Settimana dell’ Amore? Check it out here.
Happy Love Thursday!