Paolo e Francesca

Siamo nel 1275 e Guido da Polenta decise di dare in sposa sua figlia Francesca a Giovanni Malatesta, detto Giangiotto o Giovanni lo zoppo, che lo aveva aiutato a scacciare i Traversari suoi acerrimi nemici.

Il capostipite, Malatesta da Verucchio detto il Mastin Vecchio, diede la benedizione al matrimonio combinato. Per evitare un possibile rifiuto dalla giovane Francesca, i potenti signori di Rimini e Ravenna, le tesero un inganno.

Il giorno delle nozze mandarono a Ravenna Paolo il Bello, fratello di Giangiotto.

Francesca accettò con gioia e pronunciò felice il suo sì senza sapere che Paolo la sposava per procura, ossia in nome di Giangiotto. Solo il mattino dopo le nozze la giovane si accorse del tranello, quando Giovanni si alzò dal talamo nuziale.

Francesca cercò di rassegnarsi. 

Ebbe una figlia che chiamò Concordia, come la suocera. Occupandosi della bimba cercava come poteva di alleviar le tristi giornate.

Paolo che aveva dei possedimenti nei pressi di Gradara, sovente faceva visita alla cognata. Probabilmente si era pentito di aver partecipato all’inganno e forse nel suo cuore era nato l’amore per Francesca. Malatestino dell’Occhio, uno dei cognati, così chiamato perché aveva un occhio solo, iniziò a spiare gli incontri segreti tra Paolo e Francesca.

E così fu che un giorno settembrino del 1280, mentre Paolo si recava per una delle sue solite visite alla cognata, qualcuno informò Giangiotto. Quest’ultimo che ogni mattina partiva per Pesaro per il suo incarico di Podestà e faceva ritorno a casa solo a tarda sera, finse di partire e rientrò da un passaggio segreto.

Si narra che Paolo e Francesca mentre leggevano la storia di Lancillotto e Ginevra, si scambiarono un tenero bacio e proprio in quell’istante Giangiotto spalancò la porta sorprendendoli.

Accecato dalla gelosia estrasse la spada per colpire Paolo, che tentò di salvarsi passando per una botola che si trovava accanto alla porta, ma il vestito rimase impigliato in un chiodo o dovette tornare indietro.

Mentre Giangiotto si apprestava a sferrare il colpo mortale, Francesca fece da scudo con il proprio corpo a Paolo ed entrambi morirono infilzati dalla spada.

Nel corso dei secoli poeti, musicisti, letterati, pittori e scultori si sono ispirati alla tragedia di Paolo e Francesca e ancora oggi la loro storia d’amore affascina migliaia di persone.


Il dramma di Mayerling
L’impossibile amore tra Rodolfo e Mary Vétsera

Giuliano de’ Medici e Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci
In tutto il Rinascimento, probabilmente, non vi è amore più dolce, seppure platonico, di quello che Giuliano de’Medici nutrì per Simonetta Cattaneo sposa di Marco Vespucci.

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