Stories of famous Italian women!
Deeds & misdeeds!
We always make sure to propose visits & activities that speak to us as a tale, that involves us in a more deeper level, and make us live a destination in all its beautiful facets. So here’s some stories of Italian women who shaped Italy as it is today!
We live in a men’s world, but it was women who sometimes moved the strings of history, deciding fates and changing destinies. Strong personalities and quite different from one another, we are about to unravel three of the women who were protagonists of the palaces and castles you all visit when traveling to Italy.
Lucrezia Borgia – the love and patience
The sweet, loving and unfortunate Lucrezia was the daughter of the famous cardinal Roberto Borgia. Her life (XV century) was a rollercoaster of events, unwanted marriages, secret lovers, killings, political plots and suffering. She was painted as a femme fatale for her beauty, and was often used by her families’ enemies to spread gossips and slanders. But her life tells us that she was mistreated by her father and brothers who used her as a political weapon to organize convenient weddings. So much that two of her lovers were killed, one of them (and probably the other one as well) by her own brother. She was described as graceful, patient, loyal and she subdued to the will of her father, but her figure was quite important for the wellness of the realm, in a way that is seen as quite modern for those times.
Caterina De’ Medici – the mastermind
Caterina was one of a kind. After the marriage with her uncle and gaining the friendship and esteem of the king Francis I, became Queen after he was mysteriously killed. Many think it was her first plotting to gain power, the first of many. She gave birth to 10 children and only two survived her. After the tragic death of her husband, her young son became king and despite the grief she had to fight against usurpers. The legend says she was the mind behind what was called “the flying squadron”, a network of women spies in the bedrooms of the most prestigious nobles. But Caterina’s most terrible plot was the one behind the massacre of San Bartolomeus, where thousands of people died in name of the Catholicism, that started during the wedding of queen Margot and Henry IV, staining their union with the name of “ruby wedding” (Game Of Thrones fans may find this name familiar). As we distance ourselves from her crimes, we recognize her strength, intelligence and courage in shaping her path of power and her career in the society of that time.
La Fornarina – a love story in Rome
When walking in museums and exhibitions of XVI century’s art, you will may notice a recurrent face: it’s the one of “la Fornarina”, Margherita Luti, daughter of the baker of the romantic Trastevere district in Rome. The story says she was looking out the window when the prestigious painter Raffaello Sanzio saw her while taking a stroll, and immediately fell in love with her. She became his muse and he painted her in three different paintings. The most famous one, that portraits her as she is and not as a Madonna, was hidden in Raffaello’s rooms till his death. You can now admire it in Palazzo Barberini in Rome. She was married at the time, and so was Raffaello, but he later painted over her wedding ring.
Subscribe to our newsletter!