D.H. Lawrence 1912 - 2012

Inside the hotel, on the fourth floor, guests will find an exhibition dedicated to David Herbert Lawrence, organized in 2012 by the Historic Gargagno Committee, on the centennial of the writer’s residence in Gargnano. This exhibition complements the historic and cultural landscape that the Arosio family built and preserved over the years and now wants to share with its guests. Through the descriptive panels and photographs, you can trace the life of the writer, famous for having written "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and "Sons and Lovers," and in particular the moments he spent at Lake Garda.

D.H. Lawrence was born in 1885 in Eastwood, England. He stayed in Gargnano for seven months, from the winter of 1912 to the spring of 1913, when he eloped with Frieda Von Richthofen, daughter of a German Baron and wife of an English professor. It has not been an easy time for the two young lovers. They lived in a precarious position, with Lawrence trying to support them both with his writing (he was extending the novel "Sons and Lovers,” gathering material for "Twilight in Italy" and "Love Poems and Others," and he was dealing with some plays) hoping not to be forced to look for a job as a teacher, a profession he hated. Frieda, however, lived with the hope of seeing her children as soon as possible; she had chosen to leave them temporarily, to escape with young David Herbert, pending the conclusion of her divorce from her husband Ernest Weekley.

However, they did not miss the pleasures offered to them here.
Wednesday September 18, 1912, David and Frieda left Villa Leonardi di Riva del Garda, to arrive in Gargnano.

The house became, for the two lovers, a refuge from which to observe the daily life of the country, the changes of nature with the arrival of spring, the spectacular scenery and local traditions. Herbert transcribed all of his impressions of this long exploration in numerous letters sent to England to family, friends, fellow writers and editors. In long letters, written in part at Riva and S. Gaudenzio, but most were written at the Villa, talking about us, people of Gargnano, many years ago. They are words that tell how we were.

 

The most beautiful and fascinating words he surely intended for the landscape and nature in which he found himself immersed. In this way, the English guest photographed daily moments and images, able to describe a reality that accompanies us today and which, at the time, for its uniqueness, managed to soothe the pains of the young writer.

But not everything he said about us is so pleasant. He wrote to his friend Holdbrook that we ... Theatrical performances that he witnessed (which took place in the current Castellani Hall) did not leave a very positive impression: ... And without being overly complimentary, he also recalled the teacher Feltrelline (perhaps Feltrinelli), from whom they received lessons in French and German, as well as Italian.

Lawrence also focused attention on the daily work that ... even at the coldest times, Lawrence does not neglect: ...

From Villa di Gargnano to S. Gaudenzio. Then from here, they seem to have continued their journey towards new shores. And it is precisely in S. Gaudenzio (at Muslone) that Lawrence wrote his last letter from Garda, to Gertrude Cooper, to let her know that ...

... concludes by referring to Villa Igea, the peephole from which the two young lovers were peering into the lives of our grandparents.

Today, this house is no longer the same as the one that hosted him. In the 1970’s, in fact, its interior was completely redone and another story began, in which the stay of Lawrence is indicated by a pink sign on the main façade, beside that window from which he stared out at the lake with so much wonder.