It is difficult to imagine that the small borough of Città della Pieve could have had some bonds with the history of the House of Savoy. However this short account will try to deepen from where the intrigue started over the loves of the court.
It is told that in the remote town of Turin, before the unification of Italy, the one who was going to become soon first King of Italie, Victor Emmanuel II, privileged the reason of the heart rather than the reason of State. He was known as the Father of the Fatherland but undoubtedly few people knew that such a qualifier had also been allots to him in such an ironic sense. In fact, Victor Emmanuel II had so many mistresses that there was a strong probability that he had children a little everywhere in the country.
His favorite mistress, certainly most beloved, as letters wrote from the King to her have revealed, was Rosa Vercellana, more known under the name of beautiful Rosina, who was the girl of the First drum of the Royal army under the Reign of Carlo Alberto.
The first time he met her in Racconigi in 1847, he was 27 years and she was only 14. But physically Rosa appeared at least 20: she had generous curves and an early femininity, with a long dark châtain hair and a thick fringe. Victor fell in love with this natural and generous beauty, as she was for him the ideal woman. At the same time awaited him his thin and blade wife, Marie-Adelaide, who has patiently supported during all these years the infidelities of the Hunter King without ever rebelling.
At Rosina´s, Victor removed his crown and threaded the slippers; he ate with her bagnacorod snails, chickens with onions and truffle tagarin which Vercellana prepared by herself.
Between them was born a relationship which defied criticism and the label and the difference of caste. They had two children, Victoria born in 1848 and Emmanuel in 1851. Victor Emmanuel was a very affectionate father with the children whom he had with Rosa. He also followed them and helped them even during adulthood; several times, he was about to agree to recognize them like legitimate heirs, but without success. Finally, after the death of the Queen in 1855, he religiously married beautiful Rosina but refused that she becomes Queen.
Wife but not Queen, she was nevertheless named by decree Countess of Mirafiori and Fontana Freddo. And by this same decree, the King gave his legal name of Guerrieri to their children.