Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso

Who is Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso?

Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso (1808-1871) was born in Milan to a noble, wealthy, and politically radical family.After witnessing the arrest of her stepfather, Alexander Visconti d’Aragona, by the Austrians in 1821, she developed a hatred of political tyranny that remained with her throughout her life. She married Prince Emilio Belgiojoso in 1824 and though their relationship cooled shortly thereafter, they remained connected in their support for Giuseppe Mazzini, the founder of the “Young Italy” society. She supported Mazzini through his failed 1833 insurrection and was subsequently tried for high treason in Milan, though ultimately granted clemency.


How did Belgiojoso Rise to Prominence?

To evade the Austrian Chancellor, Klemens von Metternich, Belgiojoso began a European tour and settled in Paris. There she opened a popular salon and entertained many well-known politicians and artists. Recognizing the power of the press to influence political events, Belgiojoso founded several journals including Rivista italianaIl Crociato, and Gazette italiana, one of the first political journals.  She also recruited and financed her own regiment of men and traveled with them to support the Milanese against the Austrians.

How Did Belgiojoso Begin Their Relationship?

Belgiojoso met Margaret Fuller sometime in January 1948 during which Fuller must have made an impression. When Belgiojoso went to Rome in April 1849, she recruited Fuller to help oversee Roman hospitals that tended to wounded revolutionaries. Over the course of the next month or so, the women saw each other frequently. Both were highly intelligent, ideologically progressive, and concerned with the plight of women.