an Italian gentleman
The shadowy presence of Italy behind this narrative has not been explained. It may reflect discussions about moving there that Mary and Percy Shelley were having while she was writing the novel: shortly after its publication they did, indeed, emigrate to Italy. On a less personal note, however, the presence of Italy does extend the geographical bounds of the pan-European setting to the south, just as the opening in Russia extends them far to the north. Safie, it should be noted, also travels north from Italy (Leghorn-Livorno), to the De Lacey's cottage in Germany, but without male protection (II:6:19).