The mystery of Isabella de’ Medici deathHistorical Curiosities
The mystery of Isabella de’ Medici death
Isabella de Medici was the daughter of Cosimo de Medici I. She was a beautiful, intelligent and brilliant woman to the point that she was called ‘the Medici star'. As it was the custom in those days, for political and economic reasons, she married Paolo Giordano Orsini, Duke of Bracciano, a violent, rough and adulterous man. When Paolo was once away for a long period because of his military engagements, Isabella, as she often did, returned to Florence. Her husband asked his cousin Troilo Orsini to check on her, a decision that turned out to be rather counterproductive. It seems, in fact, that his cousin was handsome, passionate and well-educated. As expected, the two became lovers and, without fail, her husband was very upset as he felt his pride, more than his love, had been betrayed!
Until Cosimo I was alive, Paolo Giordano did not dare harm a hair on Isabella’s head as this would have turned against him. Soon after Cosimo’s death, he wasted no time, and on the advice of his mistress, he arranged for Isabella to be murdered: He hung her with a rope that he had dropped down from a hole in the ceiling and that someone had then pulled from the top. Soon her ghost began to manifest itself in the Cerreto Guidi Castle and to the present day there is a rope hanging in the room where she was apparently murdered.
It seems that a few years ago a boy who had a flat tyre found himself in front of her. He was probably very scared when he saw, in the countryside of Cerreto Guidi, a woman wearing white and translucent clothes from the sixteenth-century. At first he thought she was one of the reenactors of the Palio del Cerro but then he looked at her more closely and recognized her without fail. It was the same face portrayed in many paintings scattered throughout the town. It was Isabella De Medici! He told the story but only the elders of the town believed him as they knew that poor Isabella, having not found peace yet, was wandering restless around her castle and the surrounding countryside. In case you venture over there, you have now been warned!
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