It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Umberto I of Italy and his "double"

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 7 2008 @ 12:59 PM
I have asked this question within a different recent thread, but since its title is more of a general kind, I thought a new thread dealing specifically with this case might be warranted.
I hope I am not breaking any rules - I would just really like to get an answer to this question - and a title naming the king might improve the chances of some Italian, perhaps, who knows of this noticing the thread.

Some of you may have heard of the story about Umberto I, the king of Italy, and his alleged "double". If you haven't, here's a short account, copied below for convenience:

“In 1900 King Umberto of Italy came face to face with a man who looked just like him. The king and his aide-de-camp Gen. Emilio Ponzio-Vaglia arrived in the town of Monza, a few miles outside Milan. The next day the king was to present the prizes at an athletic meet. The night of their arrival he and his aide went to a small restaurant for dinner. As the owner was taking their order, the king noticed that he and the patron were virtually doubles, in both face and build. He remarked on this, and as the two men talked an extraordinary series of parallels emerged which caused both of them to marvel:

* Both were born on the same day, year, same town, and had the same name.
* They were both married on April 22, 1868.
* Both wives were named Margarita,
* Both had a son named Vittorio.
* They had been decorated for bravery together on two occasions, the first time in 1866, when Umberto had been a private and the king a colonel, and the second time in 1870, when each had been promoted to sergeant and corps commander.

With this final revelation the patron returned to his duties, and the king, turning to his aide, said, ‘I intend to make that man a Cavaliere of the Crown of Italy tomorrow. Be sure he comes to the meet.’”

“The following day, true to his word, the king asked for his double only to be told that the man had died that day in a shooting accident. Shocked, the king asked his aide to find out when the funeral was to take place so that he might attend. At that very moment three shots rang out, fired by an assassin. The first of them missed the king, but the second two pierced his heart and killed him instantly.”

Frankly, I find this story more eerie than "fascinating", in the usual titillating sense of the word... Because if it's true, my first thought would be:

The two Umbertos were twin brothers. Twins being a major problem in royal lineages, for obvious reasons, one of the boys was given away immediately after birth, but was also called Umberto, either by chance (by the family who adopted him) - or even on purpose, to secure a credible "spare".

That would explain everything, even the subsequent "coincidences".
(Many studies of the lives of identical twins show that their spouses are often very similar in appearance, share the same name etc. Twins often also die on the same day - although in this case even the death could be explained in a more sinister and less coincidental light...)

But my question is: WAS it true at all?
Does anyone have a reputable source for this story?

[edit on 7-5-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on May, 7 2008 @ 01:22 PM
P.S. Here's the Italian account, if anyone is interested.
Not that there is anything new in it...

And I must say, so far no searches in Italian have brought up anything except translations (I assume) of the same account. I have used the search terms "Re Umberto + Monza + gemello" plus some additional parametres ("1900", "assassinio", "nome della moglie" etc.) - all to no avail.

It's not really all that important... I'd just like to know exactly where and when this story originated.

[edit on 7-5-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 08:34 AM
now thats a good read,they say everyone in the world has a double and i would tend to agree with the statements,a coupleof years ago i went to watch a wrestling show sat near the front row,because im a wrestling fan i wanted the best seats possible and i noticed a person on my row a few feet down doing his best to look at me from where he was sat without getting out of his seat and coming over,i glanced back a few times just to see what he wanted,and it was like looking a couple of years in the past,it was me but younger by about 3 years(he was probabaly thinking thats how i will look in a few years time) little bit erie seeing we looked alike and liked the same thing and wearing similar clothes(he must of thought the same),also although no double i used to love michael jackson growing up,and paid a massive amount for moonwalker to have it before anyone else,then a kid in school had a factfile on MJ ,same birthday as mine,starsign,loves animals,needless to say i bribed the kid to get hold of the factfile.

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by moonbeam cat

It is an interesting read, isn't it?

Which is precisely why I want to find out whether it was true at all or not.
(I am no fan of fiction. In my experience, "reality" is way too interesting - and much more "unbelievable" than fiction - to waste one's time on made-up stories. ;-))

You're very lucky to have met your Doppelgaenger (and live, some would say
If you haven't seen Krzyzstof Kieslowski's film La Double vie de Veronique, you might want to check it out.

I've only heard about a woman who supposedly looks exactly like me.
And there was an instance when an acquaintance of mine resented me for not saying 'hello' to him when "we" met in Venice... only I hadn't been in Venice at the time.
But that's a different story.

P.S. I used to LOVE Michael Jackson, too.

[edit on 8-5-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 07:51 PM

But my question is: WAS it true at all?
Does anyone have a reputable source for this story?

Considering the hour, there's little chance of any Italians (or Europeans in general) replying to this before the thread is once again buried deep in the underbelly of ATS, but I can't always choose when to find the time to post, so...


[edit on 16-9-2009 by Vanitas]

posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 04:33 AM
Hail, Vanitas

Here is another version of the story, with different details:

and another, with different details still:

and maybe what you were describing, more-or-less edited translations of your Italian link:

None of the versions cites a human source who would know these things to be factual. As with so many ripping yarns, then, it is imposible to prove that something like it didn't happen. "Something like it" easily could be true.

Stories reliably improve in the retelling. The "basic" version of these events may have become a "tar baby" for embellishments.

Probably everybody has doubles. We usually judge two faces "the same" on much less information than there is in the actual physical face. Otherwise, we wouldn't recognize one another from one day to the next.

If a good match were located for anybody who has a full-time professional security squad, then the double would plausibly be offered a job to "stand in," or play decoy. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Umberto had a double on staff. If he did, there would surely be other similarities between them, just as there would be between any two people who were chosen for comparison because they are the same sex, nationality, and age.

For whatever its worth, I have at least two different doubles. I have seen a photo of one of them, taken by a friend who encountered the double. It is "different" to see yourself as others see you

posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 01:00 PM
reply to post by eight bits

Thanks, Eight Bits!

Isn't it frustrating: a story making rounds, with no apparent source anywhere...?

I never could understand how people can spend time discussing stories - as fascinating as they may be - if there is no evidence thy are true at all. To each their own, I suppose.

But the reason I am insisting on finding the sources of this story (and other similar subjects) is precisely because I know - not least from personal experience - that reality can exceed even the wildest fiction.
(For other, not personal stories - and some of them are actually confirmed as true - see the thread "Extraordinary coincidences" mentioned in the opening post of this thread. The last story I posted has been confirmed as 100% true by Snopes.)

[edit on 17-9-2009 by Vanitas]

posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 05:19 PM
Vanitas, that is simply beautiful. The tales of how each choir member avoided the disaster weave together make a real-life The Bridge of San Luis Rey - with a happy ending.

Great find!

posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:00 PM
reply to post by eight bits

Ah - I see you have very good taste in literature, too!

I am glad you found it interesting. I was somewhat surprised not to have found any previous reference to it here on ATS, especially considering how many people were/are passionate about discussing "coincidence" versus ... well, everything else, the imponderable.

Anyway, yes, it's an oddly uplifting story.
Thanks for reading it.

new topics

top topics


log in