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Bianca Cappello


A Venetian from a wealthy, noble family, begins her life-long adventure by falling in love with the young and humble Pietro Bonaventura, originally from Florence.

Her parents strongly opposed this relationship, however Bianca (1548 - 1587) was already waiting for her first child and together with Pietro fled to Tuscany where she married and gave birth to a daughter.

The Cappello family's anger did not stop in Venice, but they sent their envoys to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I Medici and asked him to help them return a young fugitive woman. Cosimo accepted to be the arbitrator in this case, he invited Bianca and Peter to his court to find out what had happened to them. It is believed that for the first time here, Francesco I (1541 - 1587), the son of Cosimo and Eleanore of Toledo, saw a Venetian beauty, and even then fell in love with her.



Bianca Capello, Alessandro Allori


Later, Francesco I married Giovanna of Austria, sister of the Emperor but did not care for his marriage and wife and tried in every way to reach Bianca and maintain a relationship with her. Soon all of Florence was talking about them and the city's support was split between the two women. Pietro Baonaventura, Bianca's husband, was given money, social prestige and status and that was enough for him to forget his wife. But Francesco's love was not enough for Bianca, but she tried in every way to better Giovanna, and the only way was to provide Francesco with a son, as he had only daughters with Giovanna.



Bianca Capello, Alessandro Allori


She decided to use cunning and hired a pregnant girl who gave birth to a male child, gave it to Bianca for safekeeping, and in return got a job with a rich family, so Bianca convinced Francesco that it was his son. However, the plot was revealed by the mother of a male baby and the doctor who gave birth to the unfortunate girl and who confessed everything at his death. All this did not bother Francesco, he accepted his son and gave him the status of Prior and Knight of the Order of Saint Stephen, despite having a son with Giovanna in the meantime.

Francesco I, Agnolo Bronzino


Just two months after Giovanna's death, Bianca and Francesco got married in opposition to the Medici family and all of Florence. The Fiorentines also composed derogatory verses addressed to Bianca, calling her a woman of easy morality thorough verses. In 1578 she became the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. She become a faithful and exemplary wife who attempted in every way to settle disagreements with the Medici family, engaged in humanitarian work. However, nothing saved her from the hatred of Ferdinand, then the Cardinal and Francesco's brother.



Ferdinand I, Alessandro Allori


1587 on October 8, returning from hunting in Poggio a Caiano, Francesco gets trembling and with high fever as he gets the same symptoms as Bianca and dies 11 days after her. Francesco was buried in the tomb of Medici and Bianca sentenced by Ferdinando to an eternal exile as far from his family as possible, so that the location of her grave is still unknown. Their death is mysterious to this day. All doubts fell on Ferdinand, who ordered an autopsy of the body to remove suspicion off himself, but failed to exonerate himself.


Bianca should not have existed even in memory, banished and erased from all writings and images, this woman is a symbol of blind hatred and can cause compassion for a reader today.



Francesco with his mother Eleanor, Agnolo Bronzino

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