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Don Giulio’s Prison

Don Giulio’s Prison
On the ground floor after entering a narrow corridor, we see on the left the low deep doorway that leads into this room, at one time allotted for a cell and perhaps also a torture chamber. Notably Giulio d’Este was shut up in this cell for many years; he was the legitimate brother of Alfonso I and the lead actor in a famous and unhappy affair. Giulio and Cardinal Ippolito, both of them brothers of Alfonso I, held grudges and differences with each other from long ago. There came a time when both were in love with the same woman, Angela Borgia, cousin of the Duchess Lucrezia, but this gracious maiden granted her preference to Giulio. The two brothers met by chance in the countryside near the “delizia” of Belriguardo. Giulio was alone and could do nothing when the Cardinal ordered his servants to seize him and kill him. This cruel order wasn’t carried out, but Giulio was beaten until he bled, and lost the use of one eye. From that moment he began to plot the death of Ippolito, and to succeed in this joined forces with another brother, Ferrante, who wanted to eliminate the duke and take his place. The conspiracy was soon discovered: all the allies of the two principals were put to death, whereas for them the sentence was ‘generously’ reduced to life imprisonment. It was 1506 when the two were shut up in the castle prison. Ferrante died there, Giulio survived long enough to see the light of freedom again in 1559, thanks to Alfonso II. He’d reached the age of 81 years, of which 53 had been spent under lock and key.
last modified Aug 30, 2012 10:35
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