La Figlia di Iorio is a pastoral tragedy of poet G.D’Annunzio set in Abruzzo, 1903. On the day of St John, the family of Lazaro di Roio is preparing the marriage of his son Andy, pastor.

While the superstitious ritual and preparations, bursts Mila, Jorio’s daughter, taking refuge to escape harassment by a group of drunks. Mila, suspected of witchcraft, was rejected by the family of Aligi. Aligi, however, defends her and  escapes with her into the mountains and take refuge in a cave. Aligi, to defend Mila by the attempts of seduction from her father Lazaro, ends up killing him and to be sentenced to death by the community for parricide. Mila, to save Aligi,  take all responsibility and she is burned at the stake for witchcraft.  D’Annunzio ask to the painter Paolo Michetti to deal with the scenography of the tragedy. Michetti, talented painter and scenographer from Tocco da Casauria, he was inspired by the scenes of real life in the milieu abruzzese of the time to represent the characters and the environments of the La figlia di Iorio. The image of Mila is inspired by that of the woman who, in a summer Tocco Casauria a few years earlier, had appeared suddenly in the middle of the square, turned upside down, chased by a group of drunken peasants;  The Majella is the observed one, stately, during his stay in Orsogna; the image of the cavern where the twolovers find a safe place is inspired to the Grotta del Cavallone: the Michetti, curious and impassioned, it visited it more times. The scenes of the tragedy inside the cavern are all ambientates in the great cavern of entry of the Grotta del Cavallone, then renamed for this reason Aligi's Hall.

D'Annunzio never visited the Grotte del Cavallone but thanks to the work of Michetti and the success of the tragedy, these represent one of D'Annunzio. Many poets, especially from Abruzzo, is inspired by the magic of the cave to compose verses. Just to mention one above all: Cesare De Titta, Sant'Eusanio del Sangro.

For further information:

La figlia Di Iorio (pastoral tragedy G. D'Annunzio 1903)
Gabriele D'annunzio
F. P. Michetti

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