Friday, December 24, 2010

La Strega di Natale

Maria Fiorenzano was one of the little trovatelli of Giusvalla .... born to a young unwed mother among i brichi ed i boschi, Maria was given the surname “Fiorenzano.” The floral reference was typical of almost all the little trovatelli of Giusvalla, however the name carries another connotation which was most certainly intended by Maria’s mother to impart a blessing of hope and good wishes upon her unfortunate baby girl. Maria was born on Christmas Eve in the year 1832, a time when the villagers of Giusvalla still held tightly to the old beliefs and folklore. A baby girl born on Christmas Eve was said to be destined to become a witch. This old superstition would not have been lost on the townfolk of Giusvalla. And so perhaps Maria’s sanguine surname was intended by her mother to counteract a curse.

The details of Maria’s childhood have been lost to time, and there is no reason to believe that the old Italian superstition came true and she became a witch. If anything, the good fortune that her mother hoped for her seemed to follow her through life. Maria married young to a well-to-do merchant from Piemonte and moved with him to his hometown in the province of Cuneo where they raised a large family. When Maria died on December 31, 1894, she was said to be “possidente” (wealthy).

Bun Natòl a tùcci vuiocci!

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