Florence has always had a certain allure for royalty, both Italian and international.
In Royals in Florence, we meet the regal figures who have resided or vacationed in the Renaissance city and its hills from the eighteenth century onwards. There’s the young Rajaram Chuttraputti, the Maharaja of Kolhapur, who passed away in Florence and whose body was cremated and ashes scattered where the Arno and Mugnone rivers meet according to Brahmin tradition. We meet the first king of unified Italy, Vittorio Emanuele, who reluctantly moved his court, including over 30,000 public servants, from Turin to Florence in 1865, and Queen Victoria, who visited the Tuscan city three times, in 1888, 1893 and 1894, during her long reign.
Indulge in the chapter on ‘Royal Lovers’ with Rosina Vercellana, King Vittorio Emanuele’s long-term mistress; King Edward VII’s mistress, Alice Keppel, who sought solace in Villa Ombrellino, in Bellosguardo; and ballerina and lover of Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold I, Livia Raimondi, who ruled the roost in her Palazzina della Livia, in piazza San Marco.
20 BIOGRAPHIES: Prince Rajaram Chuttraputti, Eugenia de Montijo, Helen of Greece and Denmark, Irene of Greece and Denmark, Louis I and Maria Luisa, Maria-José of Belgium, Maria Nikolaievna of Russia, Mary of Teck, Natalie Obrenović, Paul of Yugoslavia, Queen Sophie of Prussia, Stanisław Poniatowski, Charles Edward Stuart, Victoria, Vittorio Emanuele II, Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon, Ismail Pasha, Alice Keppel, Livia Raimondi, Rosina Vercellana.
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