|Lovere's main square|
Lady Mary lived for nearly 10 years in Lovere on Lago Iseo near Bergamo during the later years of her life.
She constantly praised Lovere (pictured right) as a holiday resort and is reputed to have once declined an invitation to the Venice Carnival saying: “There are plenty of things to do in this village, which, by the way, is one of the most beautiful that exists.”
Lady Mary, whose image is shown in a portrait below, travelled extensively at the beginning of the 18th century with her husband, who was appointed British ambassador to Turkey. During this time she wrote poetry and letters that established her literary reputation.
She became an advocate of inoculation against smallpox, having witnessed the practice on her travels.
But she left her husband in 1739 and went to live in Italy alone. It was on the advice of her doctor that she moved from Brescia to Lovere, where she bought an old palace. She spent happy years there designing her garden and reading the books her daughter sent out to her from England.
She enjoyed entertaining local nobility and making the occasional trip to Genova and Padova, inspired to write poetry by the beauty of Lago Iseo and the “impassable mountains” surrounding it.
While living in Lovere she wrote in a letter to her daughter: “I am now in a place the most beautifully romantic I ever saw in my life.”
She returned to live in England in 1761 and died the following year. Her last words were reputed to be: “It has all been most interesting.”