It was an especially warm night for early September, their first of three nights in Florence, as they stood in the central arch of the Ponte Vecchio looking down at the reflections of Florence in the slow moving Arno River. Twelve year old Rosetta Conti, on her first visit to the city, was excited by the wonder and romanticism of it all. Giovanni and Cecilia Conti looked at each other and smiled as they noticed how much Rosetta was enjoying herself.
The war years had been so harsh on them; but now, six years beyond, they were putting the grief and the darkness firmly behind them. They realized that they would never forget what had happened and they would never be able to forgive, what they saw as the foolhardiness of Mussolini in taking Italy into the war. However, Rosetta had changed their lives. She was their shining light, their very reason for wanting to go on, and their purpose in every daily task they did. It was not that they spoiled Rosetta; on the contrary, they were very demanding and anything they did for her was done because they thought it best for their daughter.
They were passionate about refining their daughter’s talents, so that she would prosper later in her life. To that end, they had continued encouraging Rosetta to develop her musical and artistic talents. Consequently, Rosetta had been under the watchful eye of Signora Fabrizi, a knowledgeable, professional musician, who had recognized Rosetta’s skills; and she was the one now responsible for their emergence.