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1620. Castell'Arquato is reigned over by Cardinal Francesco Sforza who is oppressing the population with a heavy hand, forcing it to pay heavy taxes. Revolution is getting closer and the inhabitants of the borough are waiting for the right time, whereas the Cardinal is only waiting to find a scapegoat and intervene as soon as possible to restore order. At this point enter Sergio Montale, a knight just arrived from Castell'Arquato accompanied by his servant Antonio Galanti called Spadone for his ability to handle arms. History, as we all know, is studded with traitors and someone betrays the young knight of conspiracy. The Cardinal hears this and considers it enough to accuse Sergio of high treason. Sergio and Antonio are locked into the jail of Castell'Arquato fortress, with the guards trying hopelessly to make them confess a crime they never committed. In the end, they are sentenced to death; but here comes Laura, daughter to Gaspare Della Vigna, chief of the guards, who falls in love with the young Sergio and on the night of April 15th - Sergio was going to be killed the day after - helps the two to escape. The plan would have worked out if only another man, Giacomo Manaro, Della Vigna's helper, didn't see them leave and immediately raised the alarm. He had always been in love with Laura and now the time had come to pay back all her refusals. Manaro takes advantage of the situation by also killing his boss and take his position, by pushing him down the drawbridge in the canal. Laura hears her father's cry and wants to go back and help him, but in the meantime the guards arrive and arrest Sergio. Manaro informs the Cardinal of what happened, accusing Sergio of Della Vigna's killing, asking to sentence him to death together with Laura. On May 20th the two lovers are beheaded. It seems that Manaro came out of the whole situation as clean as a whistle. In truth Antonio, the faithful servant of Sergio, is still alive and few months later he manages to break into the fortress, reach the assassin of his master and stab him. He then confesses his act to the Podestà, who immediately puts him on trial. The Cardinal would want him ded, but the expenses for the execution of the sentence - those for the executioner and the notary - are too high for the borough revenues. Therefore Antonio is condemned to life inprisonment. He will end his life in the fortress. After him many others will share his fate in the same place.
Information Office
Last update
Thursday, 20 June 2019
News and information edited by the Tourist Information Office of the Municipalities of Bobbio, Borgonovo V.T., Castell'Arquato, Piacenza and Vigolzone