Giuseppe Verdi was a dog lover.

Black, Yvette and Moschino were the names of his hunting dogs.

In 1865 the opera composer even wrote a letter to the dog of the publisher Arrivabene, Ron Ron, pretending to be his own dog Black who used these words to describe his life with Verdi: “My butler, factotum secretary, that of hooks [as Verdi would call the notes], provides me with everything: amaretto biscuits are always in my mouth, big bones are my soup when I wake up, the whole house is at my disposal, and now that there’s a sweltering hot I change apartment and bed any time I want to and woe to him who touches me”.

And then there was his wife’s dog, Loulou, for whom he seemed to have a limitless affection.

Verdi was used to spend a time of the year in the countryside, in the Villa of Sant’Agata, with his wife and Loulou.

He would walk with the dog under his cloak, so that only the nose was out to breath.

He also commissioned a portrait of Loulou, that is still in the villa today, and, for her death, he commissioned to build a small monument in the garden with the inscription “In memory of one of my most loyal friends”.

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