Tomorrow I'm flying to Milan, and will stay in northern Italy for a week. On Saturday 19 September at 4pm, I'm giving a talk about Edward II in general and his survival after 1327 in particular in the arch-episcopal seminary in the town of Vercelli. (If you're anywhere in the vicinity, come along!) And on Tuesday the 22nd, I'm giving another talk about him at the university of Pavia, and taking part beforehand in a round-table discussion on Edward's survival with, among others, Ivan Fowler, author of Auramala: The King Lives. Ivan and his fellow researchers at the Auramala Project are doing some excellent work on the Fieschi Letter and on Edward II's survival in Italy.
It's going to be so exciting to be in Vercelli, as it was the bishop of Vercelli, Manuele Fieschi, who wrote the Fieschi Letter telling Edward III how his father escaped from Berkeley Castle in 1327 and ended up in an Italian hermitage identifiable as Sant'Alberto di Butrio. This hermitage still exists and has a website in Italian and English, which talks a lot about Edward. (I looked at it last year when writing the relevant chapter in my Edward II bio, and nearly fell off my chair when I saw my own name.) I'll be visiting on Sunday, and taking lots of pics which I'll post here! On the other side of the valley from Sant'Alberto and visible from it is the castle of Oramala (formerly Auramala, as in the title of Ivan's novel), which in the relevant time period was owned by the Fieschi family.
I've been dying to visit this part of Italy for absolutely ages as it's so relevant to Edward II's story, and I'm so excited that I'm finally going! Reports and pics to come :-)