Chapter #1

An evening, a party, a meeting.

“You are as beautiful as the moon this evening. You light up the whole Garden.”

“You are quite chivalrous Sir, but I won’t give in so easily to the flattery of a masked knight.”

“This is not flattery, but a wooing, necessary should I want to win my heart back, which you’ve stolen.”

“How can I have stolen the heart of a stranger? Are you perhaps a story-teller? Take off your mask and show yourself like a man.”

“Dance with me. You don’t need to see my face for me to be your knight. I am a lucky traveller who has his own tower in San Fabiano.”

“So you are either a prince or a bandit. These are the kinds of men who live in the hills around the Vasari Aqueduct.”

“If that is how it must be, then for you I want to be a king. Tell me your name and under the spell of this evening, I will make you a queen.”

“Promises made under the moonlight, behind a mask, are the promises of Pulcinella. To show yourself in the light of day, for that you need courage.”

“My dear, you have before you the most courageous man in the world. Let me show you.”

“Tomorrow morning, when the Fraternita’s clock strikes 10, you will find me in Piazza Grande. I will have a white rose. Look for me among the market stalls. Wear a handkerchief around your neck and I will recognize you.”

Chapter #2

Ingenuity brings trouble

Now I’ve got trouble up to my neck. Reaching Piazza Grande without being seen is almost impossible. I have no choice but to take the secret passages, but by day this is risky. I can climb up the hill through the Fortress, along the aqueduct until Piazza Grande. Then I can come up through the manhole in front of Palazzo della Fraternita. Such a risk I’ve never run for anyone, let alone a woman.

Chapter #3

The face of an Angel

There she is! She’s wearing the white flower in her hair. She’s looking right at me. She doesn’t seem to have any doubts, she’s coming towards me. She’s smiling. What nerve.”

“You are even more beautiful with the morning sun set upon your face.”

“And you are exactly as I imagined you would be.”

 

“Handsome and charming?”

“No, simply a fool.”

“Excuse me? I’m on time. I’m your prince, don’t you remember?”

“Princes aren’t assassins, but you are.”

“What are you talking about? Lower your voice. You’re confusing me with someone else, certainly.”

“I know very well what I’m saying. You’re Gnicche, you killed me brother and today, you will finally pay for your crime. Don’t try to escape. Your hideouts won’t do you any good. All of Piazza Grande knows of you. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy your last rays of sunshine. The guards are running a little late, but they’ll be here. Look, they’re coming down now from Borgunto. You were right: you’re just on time for your appointment.”


Chapter #4

The most cunning thief of all

My name is Federigo Bobini, known as Gnicche the Bandit. Up and down the tunnels of Arezzo, no one has ever caught me, until today. Two black eyes have cheated me and I was sent to the jail in Palazzo Pretorio. But my friends warned me: don’t trust the women in Arezzo. They appear like angels, but are in fact sirens. They make you fall in love with them, they enchant you, but you won’t make it out alive.

Photo by: Rossella Capocasale