Vannozza dei Cattanei  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Vannozza dei Cattanei (Giovanna de Candia, contessa dei Cattanei) (13 July 1442 – 24 November 1518) was one of the many mistresses of Rodrigo Borgia. She gave birth to the Italian Borgia lineage while he was cardinal, future Pope Alexander VI (in violation of the celibacy vows then Cardinal Borgia had already taken upon admission to the clerical state), and among them, the one whose relationship lasted the longest. Her parents were Jacopo (Giacommo de Candia, conte dei Cattanei) of the House of Candia and Mencia Pinctoris.

Born in 1442 in Mantua to noble parents, she moved to Rome where she was landlord to several inns (Osterie), at first in Borgo, then in Campo de' Fiori. Before becoming Alexander's mistress, she had an alleged relationship with Cardinal Giulio della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II.

The connection with Alexander VI began in 1470, and she bore him four children whom he openly acknowledged as his own:

Before his elevation to the papacy, Alexander VI's passion for Vannozza somewhat diminished, and she subsequently led a very retired life.

Her place in his affections was filled by the beautiful Giulia Farnese, wife of an Orsini, but Alexander VI's love for his children by Vannozza remained as strong as ever and proved, indeed, the determining factor of his whole career. He lavished vast sums on them and lauded them with every honour.

She had four husbands. First she married Domenico d'Arignano. Her second husband was Antonio de Brescia. In 1480 she married Giorgio della Croce. She had a son named Ottaviano with him. When she became a widow she finally married Carlo Canale.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Vannozza dei Cattanei" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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