Going onto the corridor that goes around the cell of Don Giulio, you soon come upon a steep and narrow
stairway that leads to the cells that held these unlucky lovers, protagonists of one of the most dramatic pages of Estense history.
Parisina Malatesta was the second wife of Marquis Niccolò III, who was something of a rake and a
great deal older than her. After seven years of marriage that had been generally quite calm, she ended
up falling in love with her step-son Ugo, son of the Marquis and Stella dei Tolomei. The two young people
were discovered, subjected to a rapid trial and finally beheaded. It was 1425; Parisina was 20 years
old, Ugo still only 19.
Coming down the stairway, on the left was Parisina’s cell. Following the corridor you get to Ugo’s; in this
one can be seen, on the ceiling, prisoners' writing done with candle smoke.