When Alessandro saw the old Lake of Claydon Pike for the first time, at the beginning of 1939, he could never have imagined the adventures and emotions that would be tied forever to this enchanted place. Alessandro had just arrived in England, bringing with him nothing more than a needle and thread, and the dream of becoming a great tailor.

Another thing he could not have imagined, was that in the first moments when his eyes fell on the two swans swimming peacefully in the small lake, one black and one white, was that here would be where he found love.

Every morning before going to work in his shop, Alessandro loved to spend time reflecting by the lake, along with a good book and the two swans. After the day that Claire appeared at the lake nothing was the same. Initially, Claire was only a mild and gentle presence. But as time went on, Alessandro and Claire became closer and closer.

The young dark-haired Italian had such a powerful respect in his heart towards the beautiful blonde English girl, that he didn’t dare attempt anything more than a deep friendship.

But the war began, and Alessandro had to give up his dreams, his daily life and seeing Claire, all at once. The last morning, before leaving for duty, Alessandro left her with a prophetic speech to which her delicate heart clung with all its hope:

“One day, Claire, I shall return. You have to promise me, that in the meantime you will not be sad. But that whenever you miss the mornings that we spent together, look at the black swan and within him you will see me.”

The war like all things, came to an end, and Alessandro returned to Claydon Pike, his heart full of pain yet at the same time hopeful. When he arrived he realised there was nothing that he could do. The entire village had been destroyed, burned to the ground and reduced to nothing more than rubble.

The few survivors of the brutal attack had no information on the whereabouts of the woman he had so longed to return to, all that they could recall was that she had moved away before the attack occurred. At this moment an idea came to Alessandro for which he was forever greatful.

Alessandro re-opened his workshop and began producing warm and simple sweaters, which were all endowed with a distinctive symbol of a small black swan.

Alessandro was certain that if his work succeeded it would lead her back to him. That one day she would see the symbol and immediately understand, and realize he was still waiting for her at Claydon Pike.

Years passed and the black swan that Alessandro had imprinted on all of his clothes gradually became more and more well known, to the point at which a simple young waitress working in a house in London saw it. The young waitress was Claire, she immediately understood the significance of this symbol and took leave from her work and caught the first train to Claydon Pike.

Alessandro and Claire were never apart again, just like the swan and its companion. Legend has it that even today, if you go to Dawlish you may just encounter a herd of wild swans, and it is said that if you are so lucky to see them, there will always be one Black Swan, that never leaves its white partners side.

The Beautiful Story of Alessandro and his Black Swan .