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It was a moment of celebration in Montechiarugolo. The count Pomponio Torelli decided that in that mild September day people could have taken a holiday in order to celebrate the visit of Ranuccio I Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza. The castle crowded of sellers, entertainers, carousels and music, in a vivid and picturesque market.

A beautiful maiden, with long dark air and gipsy features, was attracting attention of the curious. She was Bema, mind reader and diviner, whose fame was known by many lords and princes that often asked her about their own future.

She was a good and polite girl, who never ever used her gift for personal interests. For this reason, the count of Montechiarugolo took her under his protection, welcoming her inside the walls of his castle.

The woman’s charm moved also the Duke Ranuccio I, known for his dark and superstitious personality.

Tormented by prediction of conspiracies and death, he decided to take advantages of the magical powers of the girl. About him, she had the sight of a pool of blood. The young Pio, Pomponio’s son, was victim of this sinister prophecy too, together with the Duke.

The meeting with Bema left Ranuccio very upset: he was deeply attracted by the fairy, but at the same time, he was suspicious and scared by the gift he could not understand. Therefore, he attracted her to his Parma’s palace with an excuse, and he locked her in a prison of the fort. It was a long and hard imprisonment for Bema the fairy, to when the people found her, lifeless, and released her with acclaims.

The young girl was taken back to Montechiarugolo, to the Torelli’s family. Here there was Pio waiting for her, hopelessly in love with her. Bema, whose feeling for him were mutual, was aware of the big discrepancy between the two: a count could have never marry a humble gipsy. Therefore, with a heavy heart, she refused his courtship. 

Noticing the feelings of the son, the father Pomponio decided to send Pio to the Parma’s court, in order to finish his studies. During the time spent in Parma, Pio also found a wife, the aristocrat Ginevra Bentivoglio. Yet, once he was back to Montechiarugolo, Pio figured out his feelings for Bema were unchanged. He began courting and begging her again, for nothing. The wife Ginevra though, suspicious of the movements of her husband, made a threatening jealous scene to Bema, who was left very upset of the happening.

In the meanwhile, the prophecy came true and the conspiracy against Ranuccio ended up stifled in blood. Among the victims, there was also Pio, tortured and cruelly beheaded on May 19, 1612. A ducal garrison occupied the castle of Montechiarugolo and the weak Bema, who was already depressed because of the death of Pio, escaped, and took shelter in a small house of farmers near the manor house.

Since then, Bema decided to dedicate his life to missions of mercy, helping the needy.

Her spirit still wandering and any 19th of May, her pure ghost goes back to the castle to cry over her love so tragically lost. 


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