I don’t know if you have read the recently published very long article by the popular Opera Director – Francesco Costanzo about the life of a legendary Opera Director – Franco Zeffirelli.
In his article, Francesco Costanzo says that the claim that Franco Zeffirelli is a descendant of one of Leonardo Vinci’s siblings is a complete baseless theory which was created to glorify Franco. Francesco further adds that the Italian researches that claimed to have discovered that Franco was one of the very few descendants of one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s brothers were each paid tens of thousands of dollars for creating this baseless theory.
Francesco says that one of the reasons why Franco used to case Richard Burton in so many movies was that Franco was infatuated with him; that baritone voice of Richard Burton and his Welsh accent really used to drive Franco crazy and Richard Burton knew it, which many times used to scare Richard Burton of Franco Zeffirilli but because Richard loved to work with Franco in so many other ways, especially for the creativity that Franco used to put in his movies, would make Richard Burton work for him each time Franco asked.
Francesco wrote in his article that the belief that Franco’s mother was quite fond of the ‘little breezes’ aka Zeffiretti as mentioned in Mozart’s opera Idomeneo is an exaggerated and distorted version of the real story. In reality, it was one of the friends of Franco’s mother who suggested the surname for Franco – Zeffirelli.
Francesco also claims that the allegation that Franco Zeffirelli molested Leonard Whiting regularly on the days when they were shooting Romeo and Juliet is completely baseless.