Clara Grandi Fossà is a young and noble woman with a free and rebellious spirit who was separated from her twin brother and forced into an arranged marriage. Despite this, she falls in love with her husband and fights to win his love. However Clara falls victim to her aunt's and cousin’s conspiracies, as they are determined to steal her inheritance and to destroy her marriage, by instilling jealousy and suspicions of adultery. While seeking the truth, Clara starts to suffer mysterious hallucinations and a nervous breakdown.
One day, someone tries to kill Clara, leaving her to drown in the waters of the Adige River….
Clara’s body is never found. Everyone believes she committed suicide. Clara survives and, in disguise, her face hidden beneath a black veil, she returns to her family in search of the truth and to punish the guilties.
The Lady with the Black Veil is a great historical mural set in northern Italy in the late 1800s that unites melodrama and elements of a crime story.
“A lady dressed in black, her dark hair pulled back, her face hidden behind a veil, observes a gentleman weeping before his wife’s tomb. She has never seen anyone cry so desperately. Yet, is this really a heartfelt demonstration of despair? Did he truly love his wife or was he deceiving in his ways? Does he cry tears of regret or contrition? Instinctively she would like to run to him and embrace him. To tell him that his wife didn’t really drown herself in the river like everyone believes. That she had been unhappy, but that she loved him. To ask him about their little girl, Aurora. But the memory of the whip that scourged her face suddenly startles her. She can still feel the throbbing pain inside her wound. She can see the hands of the man that lifted her off the ground. The hooves of the horses. The sound of the river. Guido, was that you? That’s what this lady dressed in black, Countess Clara Grandi Fossà, would like to ask him. Was it you who watched me drown? Yet her husband has already dried his tears and is heading off towards his coach.”
Who is Clara Grandi Fossà, the lady dressed in black, who everyone thinks has drown in the depths of the river?
What is her story?
SUMMARY OF EPISODES
CLARA, the daughter of Count VITTORIO GRANDI, is raised in the country by farmers of the San Leonardo estate, far from the father who blames her for his wife’s death and, having badly wanted a son, wants nothing to do with his daughter. Yet one day Vittorio decides to bring her to Trento. He has found a husband for Clara and wants a grandson, an heir. Clara, torn from her lands and all that she holds dear, finds herself imprisoned in a home where her Aunt ADELAIDE and her cousin CORNELIO are already plotting against her.
Clara decides to run away with her childhood friend MATTEO. Yet the night they plan to flee, a sudden tragedy prevents Matteo from showing up at their meeting place. Clara begins to smile once again with Count GUIDO FOSSÀ, a reckless rake who has all the women in Trento at his feet. When Clara finally agrees to marry, as her father desires, in order to keep the San Leonardo estate from being sold, she discovers that the man she will be forced to marry is none other than Guido. He is a man full of secrets, with a past that has returned to haunt him.
Guido wants nothing to do with Clara, a wife who has been forced upon him, and continues to spend his evenings at the cabaret, ignoring her. Furthermore, GERARD, the friend from his past, continuously threatens to reveal his secrets and becomes increasingly more money hungry. Clara is unhappy and seeks refuge at San Leonardo, but knows she cannot keep running away. Thus, unmasking her sensuality, she wins over Guido. As their relationship strengthens, Cornelio sets eyes on ANITA, one of Clara’s farmer friends, and is ready to do anything to have his way with her.
Matteo is sent away from the estate for having attacked Cornelio, who raped Anita. There is nothing Clara can do to stop him from getting fired, especially since Guido is jealous and will not give her his support. Clara decides to anonymously finance Matteo’s studies in agronomy. Her marriage to Guido is still marked by highs and lows until she finds out she is pregnant. Yet Adelaide is afraid she will bear a son, stripping Cornelio of his inheritance, and plots to have her miscarry the baby.
Despite everything, Clara brings the pregnancy to full term and gives birth to a baby girl named AURORA. Anita instead, who became pregnant with Cornelio’s child, gives birth to a baby boy. Clara convinces Matteo to marry Anita and recognize the child as her own, to protect them from her cousin Cornelio. Meanwhile, back at the Grandi Mansion, living with a newborn is not any easy feat and takes a toll on Clara and Guido’s relationship. Then Clara’s father falls ill …
When Vittorio’s last will and testament is read, we discover that Vittorio has named his granddaughter Aurora as the sole heiress of his estate and Clara as manager of the property and the estate until the child becomes of age. While Gerard continues to pressuring Guido, sending a package to the Grandi Mansion that contains traces of his dark past, Cornelio and Adelaide will stop at nothing to take back what they feel is rightfully theirs. They undermine Clara and Guido’s relationship by bringing an alluring heiress into their lives, the BARONESS DE BLEMONT.
Guido returns from Bruges where he was able to get financing from the Baroness De Blemont to open a silk factory, but soon discovers the contract he secretly drew up without telling his partner LUDOVICO is a trap. Clara is actively involved in managing the estate alongside Matteo, who she nominates the new farm manager, but neglects Guido without realizing she is only placing her marriage more and more in the scheming hands of Cornelio and Adelaide.
Clara begins to suspect that Guido is cheating on her with the Baroness De Blemont, but when Guido is questioned, he denies everything. The two begin to lose trust in one another and Clara suddenly falls ill, becoming weaker and weaker. Against his will, Guido hires CECILE, a governess recommended by Adelaide, to take care of Aurora. Meanwhile, even Ludovico begins to doubt Guido as an honest business partner …
Clara is afraid that Guido may be involved in Ludovico’s murder, but when she sees how earnestly he grieves over the man’s death, she casts out all doubt. Meanwhile, the agricultural crisis makes the farmers rise in protest, but Matteo is prevented from discussing the matters with Clara. Even Guido has his share of problems at the silk factory. He asks the Baroness De Blemont for another loan, but she only agrees under one condition- that he put up the San Leonardo estate as mortgage collateral to secure the loan. Clara feels increasingly more alone and suffers from hallucinations. She begins to confuse dreams and reality…
Clara, now hospitalized for mental illness, realizes that she has been poisoned with laudanum and not only suspects Adelaide and Cornelio, but even Guido. She decides to try and flee the hospital. Once she has fled, she tries to reach Matteo at the San Leonardo estate, but someone has followed her and strikes her with a whip, sending her unconscious into the Adige River. When only one of her shoes is found on the riverbed, everyone thinks she has committed suicide …
Clara, her face concealed by a black veil and bearing the false name of Emilia di Sant’Ubert, has her Aunt MATILDE hire her as a lady companion. The job with her aunt, who is ignorant to her real identity, gives her the chance to be at the Grandi Mansion and investigate into who tried to kill her. Guido doesn’t seem minimally upset over her death and is continuously in the company of Baroness de Blemont. Thus, Clara begins to plan her revenge. The first to pay is Adelaide…
Clara is now convinced that Guido is to blame and makes sure that evidence emerges to induce the police to question him for causing a suicide and to suspect him for the murder of Ludovico. Just when Guido is in jail and his fate seems certain, Clara, thanks also to a confession made by Adelaide, discovers something that will change her life forever. Something that happened on the night she was born.
Clara Grandi: Miriam Leone
Guido Fossà: Lino Guanciale
Matteo Staineri: Jaime Olias
Cornelio Grandi: Andrea Bosca
Adelaide: Lucrezia Lante della Rovere
Vittorio Grandi: Luciano Virgilio