28 Gennaio 2023


Laura Lanza of Trabia (7 October 1529 – 4 December 1563) better known as the Baroness of Carini was an Italian noble woman, the protagonist of a famous and tragic Sicilian story.
The legend tells about the death of Donna Laura Lanza who – at the early age of 14 – married, at the behest of her father, the Baron of Carini. Disappointed by the marriage and the continuous abandonment by her husband involved in the care of his property, the baroness soon fell in love with Ludovico Vernagallo, and became his lover. Discovered by her husband and father, Laura was killed with Ludovico. The murder room, located in the west wing of the castle, collapsed completely and it is said that the baroness's bloodied footprint was to be seen on a wall.
Actually, there are documents showing that the Viceroy of Sicily, informs, at the time, the Court of Spain that Cesare Lanza, Baron of Trabia and Count of Mussomeli, killed his daughter Laura and Ludovico Vernagallo. This document supports the act of death of the Baroness, drawn up on December 4, 1563 which is preserved in the archive of the Mother Church of Carini together with that of Ludovico Vernagallo. There is, however, no evidence that there was anything more than a friendship between Laura Lanza and Ludovico Vernagallo. Cesare Lanza di Trabia, supported by his son-in-law, killed his daughter Laura to vindicate the family's honour and had Ludovico Vernagallo been killed by a hitman.
The viceroy, having just learned about the crimes, immediately adopted for Don Cesare Lanza and the Baron of Carini the measures foreseen by law; they were banned and their assets seized. Don Cesare Lanza once again turned to King Philip II; he explained the reasons that led him – together with his son-in-law – to murder the two lovers and – appealing the law in force at that time, on the scourge of adultery – he asked for forgiveness which was then granted.
Freed from all harassment, Don Cesare Lanza got his assets back; once again Justice had not even touched him and obviously, as Dentici wrote, "the aristocracy of the time was above the laws and justice". The Baron of Carini, Laura's husband, was also acquitted with full formula, and lived in debt until his death, after bringing the last jewels of his family to the Monte dei Pegni (a pawnbroker institute).

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