Once upon a time, a beautiful princess lived in a majestic castle. The castle was situated high above a quaint village and was surrounded by lush, rolling hills and bright green vineyards. The princess’s name was Imperatrice, and she was married to a young Italian nobleman and count, Federico. He was a warrior, and sometimes went off to do battle with his relatives—the Scaligeri, lords of a neighboring city—leaving his young wife home alone. Though this wasn’t the most agreeable behavior in a husband, Imperatrice didn’t mind, because she kept herself busy with charitable work, in partnership with several other noblemen’s wives.
Palate Press, June 7, 2010