Estense Castle of Ferrara: the legend of the two lovers

A tragic legend hovers around the Estense Castle of Ferrara which makes these walls even more interesting.

Our story has as its protagonist Laura Malatesta, known as Parisina, daughter of the lord of Cesena. It all began in 1418 when the girl, at the age of 15, was given in marriage to Niccolò III d’Este, who was 35 years old. As if Parisina’s young age and a loveless relationship weren’t enough, Niccolò had already a son: Ugo, aged 14. The relationship between the two peers, the son and his wife, was understandably stormy and Niccolò ordered the two to go together to visit Parisina’s parents in Loreto. Niccolò’s intent was achieved: on this journey, coexistence brought them closer … but more than the nobleman certainly hoped for: a sinful love relationship was born between the two!

Estense Castle of Ferrara
Affresco by Achille Funi in the Sala dell’Arengo, Palazzo Ducale – around 1934-38

The lovers kept the love story hidden and Niccolò, happy with the new peaceful relationship between the two, often left them alone. When the plague broke out in 1418, he decided to protect the two young lovers by taking them to a country villa. The two lovebirds, finally alone, were able to give vent to their passion.

Despite their discretion, the servants realized their sinful relationship and informed Niccolò that he managed to catch them red-handed. The nobleman imprisoned them in the Torre dei Leoni of the Estensi Castle of Ferrara and sentenced them to death.

According to the same legend, the spirits of the two lovers would still wander inside the Castle and in the cell where they spent the last minutes before the beheading, their cries would still be heard!

Estense Castle of Ferrara
Gaetano Previati – around 1913

Visit the Estense Castle of Ferrara

Have you never visited Ferrara and its castle? We have the solution! Here are the tours that might be right for you:

Remember that you can also buy the GIFT CARD, decide the amount you prefer and choose your favorite tour later! The gift card has no expiry date: give or give yourself a gift! Read more here

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *