Ius Primae Noctis

For the inhabitants of the valley the person that more than any other was the occasion for fantasies and rumors, was that of the count. Brave man of arms and undisputed master of the feoff, with right over things and people, he generated mixed feelings: from gratitude for the favors granted, to reverence from admiration to fear.

It is said that the tenant farmers and tenants of the count wore the best clothes to be received at the hearing and that on his passage they were forced to perform the bow, on pain of corporal punishment.

But there were also those who remember with gratitude the count: not only did he keep the children of some villagers in boarding school but he tried to meet their basic needs, donating corn and beans to allow them to survive.
The negative voices were instead magnified by those who had been wronged or harassed. For example, it is still said today that the count imposed his Ius Primae Noctis on his tenant farmers: after the wedding ceremony, the beautiful girls of the county were taken from their homes and taken to the Lord’s alcove, on the first floor of the castle, to pass the wedding night with him. Often these meetings ended badly for the unfortunate girls or for the husband who dared to question this right. It is said that one night a woman refused to give in to the lusts of the Lord who cut her head off and then threw it in the trapdoor built inside the alcove for such eventualities. The head came out halfway down the mountain and began to roll off the ridge screaming her innocence. The screams were so loud and lacerating that they could be heard throughout the valley. It seems that this passage really existed so much so that it is said that Countess Serra used it to escape the German siege during the First World War.
The count was so feared that, among the villagers, there were those who claimed to have seen the count wandering on a white steed on nights of full moon in search, perhaps, of his lost soul.

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