The Historic Carnival of Ivrea
The Carnival A to Z
Vezzosa Mugnaia – Miller’s Daughter
The most important character in the Historical Carnival is the Miller’s Daughter, the heroine who has become the symbol of the freedom won by the people in their revolt against the feudal tyrant.
At the time of Marquis Raineri di Biandrate, the young newly-wed commoner Violetta, bravely fought off the attentions of the tyrant, who not content with oppressing the people with taxes and ill treatment, had imposed jus primae noctis on young brides (the right to sleep with them on their first night of marriage).
When going up to the castle on the evening of her wedding, the young girl swore to her husband Toniotto that she would never accept such an imposition. She suddenly pulled out a dagger from under her clothes, cut off the tyrant’s head and showed it to the entire population from the battlements.
This was the sign for revolt. The manor house was immediately taken and burnt and the people swore that nothing would ever be built in its place.
Set in the Dark Ages, this legend, as all legends, has a historical basis: in fact, at that time along the Dora Baltea river there were many floating mills; perhaps the Ivrea uprising was caused by the umpteenth tax on flour, but the memory of it that has been passed down over the centuries is the picture of pretty Violetta who freed the whole city.