The Empress Sissi in VeniceBig Names
The Empress Sissi in Venice
The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination as a beautiful and fascinating woman, thanks to successful television adaptions of her life.
In fact her live events were not as romantic as the film versions would have had us believe: the young empress hated her role and life at court and so when she could she fled from Vienna for long trips.
Sissi also lived in Venice for seven months between 1862 and 1863, but it was a place that she never loved. She described the Italian people as crude and vulgar and it was evident that the dislike was mutual, as the Venetians hated the Austrian regime and already in 1848 there was an uprising and a reinstatement to the Republic of Venice, but only for 16 months .
Suffering from dropsy, Sissi spent seven months locked up in the Venetian Regal Palace, once the seat of the Procurators of St Mark, where new rooms were set up according to her taste.
Even today, visiting the Correr Museum in St Mark's Square in Venice, one can see the apartments of Sissi, including her dressing room, decorated with lilies and paintings of lilies (the empress's favourite flowers) and in the centre of the ceiling there is a depiction of the goddess protector of the arts, a portrait of Sissi.
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