Fiorino Pera
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Location: Roma
Country: IT
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Conte Luca Vendramin JPdAmboise Lady Leena Fandango Hippolyte Eugène de Vergy Federico Maria Giovanelli Leopoldina Leandro Rinaldo Malaspina Serenek Timeless Tatiana Dokuchic Prospero Pastorelli Aldo Stern Contessa Elena Marina Foscari

Apprentices of Rocca Sorrentina

By: Fiorino Pera
Posted in:

Esteemed and most respected Professor Stern:


News reached us that the island principality of the English House of Elswit has been claimed by the Kingdom of Naples, but the villagers there continue to call their island commune by its antique (if not ancient) name of Rocca Sorrentina. My two companions, Rico Millefiori and Prospero Pastorelli, and I learned of all this when we arrived in Venezia after a long, long journey. Our homecoming was not all that we expected it to be. I shall attempt to give you a full account as soon as I can but we are facing a few, unexpected setbacks.

The others send their warmest greetings, dear Professor, as does

Your most humble servant,

Pera Fiorino

Aldo Stern
24 Nov 2012 11:13:56AM @aldo-stern:

My good Fiorino,

I am gratifed to learn that you have finally reached your home in the serene Republic. The world, as la Baronessa is fond of pointing out, is a dangerous place and the paths which our lives take will have numerous unexpected turns and more than a few difficult stretches. In this mortal world, nothing -- even our curious little island -- remains the same forever, and everything has a life span. But the important thing as you seek to cope with these realities, is that you, Rico and Prospero have your mutual friendship to sustain you and as a source of help and support when things do not go well.

You know, I was not too many years older than you and your fellow apprentices when I chose to leave my father's farm and go to begin my first career as a soldier with the Piedmontese infantry in service to the Kingdom of Sardinia. To say that the life of a soldier was not quite what I had anticipated would be something of an understatement. Were it not for my comrades, including a few good friends from my home district, I do not know that I would have coped very well with the realities of those times and situations, especially when we fought the Spanish, who were very good soldiers -- among the best in Europe in those days. But when you stand with your friends at your side, you can face great adversity.

In the end, looking back, I think ultimately we were not fighting to defend the interests of the House of Savoy, or to see to it that the balance of power in Europe would be maintained, or even out of love for our country. No, we went and stood in the line with our muskets and fired our volleys into the oncoming Spaniards and faced them with our fixed bayonets in defense of the honor of our regiment -- which had become our home -- and for the small, close group of comrades who were more like brothers to me than my actual brothers who were joined to me by nothing more binding than familial affection and blood.

By the way, if I have not mentioned it to you boys before, let me do so now: war is an extremely unpleasant business. I hope that you will all do your utmost to avoid being in one, if you possibly can manage to do so.

But I digress.

My point was that I very much encourage you lads to stick by each other, especially when things start taking unexpected directions. You are like comrades, just as I was with my friends in our regiment of Piedmontese infantry, because the adversities you have faced and overcome together build ties that are stronger than accidents of blood and birth.

La Baronessa, as you know, is also fond of pointing out that life is patently unfair and that once you have come to grips with the reality that life is unfair, unpredictable and dangerous, and you have accepted those truths, you will pretty much be fine (but then don't forget she also carries a loaded pistol or two in the pockets under her skirts, and wears a steel hat pin that also can serve as a stiletto). Anyhow, while I agree with her for the most part, I would also add that you will exponentially improve your chances of being fine if you have friends you can rely on, and open minds ready to embrace every opportunity to learn that is thrown you way.

Please, be well, be careful, and always remember that your friendship with each other is your shield and your treasure.

And always keep in mind that you have a second home and other friends back here on this pretty little rock. We will be here if you need us.

May God go with you, my good fellows.


Don Aldo Stern

Contessa Elena Marina Foscari
25 Nov 2012 11:19:59AM @contessa-elena-marina-foscari:

Beautiful Photograph.....Be careful Boys. If you are in trouble send me a message in the usual way.

Meanwhile all the best of luck

Contessa Elena Marina Foscari