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HIDDEN TREASURES OF TUSCANY San Martino Cathedral and Ilaria Del Carretto’s Grave LUCCA

The San Martino Cathedral of Lucca, founded by Saint Frediano in the VI century a.c, rose to fame thanks to a masterpiece of Italian gothic-renaissance art, that is the funeral monument of Ilaria del Carretto, the young wife of Paolo Guinigi who was the lord and master of Lucca from 1400 to 1430. When the beautiful Ilaria died of birthchild just 2 years after the wedding the husband commissioned to the young sculptor Jacopo della Quercia a sumptuous funeral monument to commemorate forever her beauty: the memorial, inspired to the style of the French royal tombs, is open on the 4 sides and perfectly depicts the ornaments and decorations of renaissance period. But the very peculiarity of this monument is the humanity, the sweetness and the daintiness of Ilaria’s features: even if she wears luxurious clothes and ornaments she embodies the simplicity and naturalness of a woman, a wife and a mother. Famous poets like Gabriele D’annunzio, Salvatore Quasimodo and Pier Paolo Pasolini were impressed by her and celebrated her moving beauty in their poems: even today tourist and lovers visiting the Cathedral are fascinated by Ilaria’s grace and touching the monument pray for her protection. As the legend goes, in fact, the beautiful Ilaria helps the ladies to meet the great love…

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