Opening Silvia's House in the Leopardi Mansion

Alex Catti (July 18, 2017)
On occasion of Italian writer Giacomo Leopardi's birthday (June 29, 1789), the writer's descendants announced the opening of the Leopardi mansion's old stables in Recanati, Marche. This is where Teresa Fattorini "Silvia," from Leopardi's poem "A Silvia" lived. Following last year’s earthquakes in Central Italy, “Silvia’s House” in Recanati has now opened to the public for the first time.

Last year’s earthquakes devastated many towns in Central Italy, and Recanati in the Marche region was no exception. The town is famous for being the hometown of poet Giacomo Leopardi, and its newest attraction, "Silvia’s House," is now open to the public. Leopardi was a very influential 19th century poet and philosopher. He's considered Italy's greatest poet of the romantic age, and his writing is still popular today. His most well-known works include the Zibaldone, Operette Morali, and the Canti, which includes some of Leopardi's most significative poems such as L'infinito and A Silvia. A Silvia speaks about Leopardi's love interest Teresa Fattorini. Fattorini or "Silvia" was the daughter of the Leopardi family's coachman. "Silvia's House" was previously part of the Leopardi mansion’s stables, and it was eventually where Fattorini would come to live.

Although the number of visitors to the town plummeted over the winter, the Leopardi family knew they needed to do something both symbolic and practical to help lift the town out of the difficult period. They decided to open Silvia’s House to the public. Vanni Leopardi, a descendent of Giacomo Leopardi, shared the reasoning behind the house’s opening: “Right after the earthquake, we promised that we would do something immediately to show that it’s important not to stop, but rather to go on.” The house was restored and furnished with period-appropriate furniture from Leopardi’s house. "Silvia’s House "opened to the public on July 16th, and for the first two months, admission will be free to all visitors. Visiting the house is a unique chance to see Giacomo Leopardi from Teresa Fattorini’s point of view, a departure from what is seen in Leopardi’s writing.