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Maria Letizia, one of the most vivacious princesses in Europe, was born on the 20th of December 1866 in Paris. During her adolescence, however, she and her family moved to the Castle of Moncalieri (she was the last tenant of the castle) on the outskirts of Torino.

While still young, she married her uncle Amedeo, the Duke of Aosta, who was King of Spain for a couple of years, but their marriage lasted only a couple of years, the time necessary to give birth to their only son Umberto, who was given the title of Count of Salemi.

Letizia's husband lost his life at the age of 45, due to a severe case of bronchopneumonia contracted in Portugal, leaving the girl a widow at the age of 24.

She didn't want to remarry, but being a beautiful, brilliant and well-educated girl, she spent the rest of her years enjoying life, so much so that she soon became the queen of the parlours, gathering a collection of fleeting love stories. When she was about 50 years old, she fell in love with an officer who was about twenty years her junior and with whom she frequented the circuits of her beloved motor races, a curious passion for a woman of her time.

The original couple never hid from the prying eyes of the people. They loved being seen in public and often went for long horse rides on the hills overlooking Torino.

Their relationship lasted until her death in 1926, and it was he, the officer with the unknown name, who inherited all her assets, as her son had died a few years earlier, in 1918, at the age of just 29, struck down, like so many thousands of people in those years, by the Spanish Flu.

Every year at Moncalieri Castle we celebrate "Rose al Castello", the flower show dedicated to Letizia, because it was she, with her passion for roses, the symbol par excellence of love and passion, who first organised the Premio delle Rose (Rose Award=, given to the most beautiful rose found on the market).

Castello di Moncalieri
10024 moncalieri TO