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Giacinta Simonetti (1817-1907)

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Giacinta Simonetti, born in 1817 was the grand daughter of the marquis Silvio Maccarani and Orsola Priuli whose palace, in Umiltà street, between the Trevi fountain and the Quirinal, welcomed writers and artists passing by Roma. The Maccarani family appeared in the visitors’ book of the Roman nobility and the famous Beatrice Cenci. Cenci (Béatrice)
in 1595 Beatrice Cenci assassinated her father François Cenci, a debauched and cruel Roman noble.  Sentenced for parricide by Clement VIII, she died on the scaffold. She was known by Shelley and Stendhal and by her portrait painted by Guido Reni.
belonged to their family tree. Orsola Priuli came from a renowned Venitian family who gave two doges to the Serenissima. They had two daughters Elisabetta and Maddalena. Maddalena married the marquis Simonetti. Becoming orphans very quickly, Giacinta and Laura the twin sisters born from this marriage, were entrusted into the grand mother Orsola’s care. Giacinta was considered in Roma as one of the most learned women. Her real estate wealth was vast and it allowed her to support all of her children’ activities and mainly Pierre’s. However Pierre’s debts rose to 55,000 francs in 1885, so she had to sell some of her properties. She had her son’s letters translated and published into French to reveal his success but as well the poverty of her means. In the family’s Soleschiano villa she received former slaves franchised by Pierre and she taught them how to read with the help of her daughter Marianne. She died in 1907.
Giacinta and her children (© Archivio Storico Capitolino, Rome)
Palazzo Maccarini Orsola Priuli by Angelica Kauffman Giacinta and her children