Vannozza dei Cattanei
|Vannozza dei Cattanei|
13 July 1442|
|Died||24 November 1518(aged 76)|
|Title||Countess of Cattanei|
|Partner(s)||Pope Julius II
Pope Alexander VI
Vannozza dei Cattanei (Giovanna de Candia, contessa dei Cattanei; 13 July 1442 – 24 November 1518) was an Italian noblewoman from the House of Candia, who was one of the many mistresses of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, future Pope Alexander VI. Among them, she was the one whose relationship with him lasted the longest.
Born in 1442 in Mantua to noble parents, Vannozza moved to Rome where she was landlady of several inns (Osterie), at first in the Borgo, then in Campo de' Fiori. Before becoming Alexander's mistress, she had an alleged relationship with Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II.
The connection with Alexander VI began in 1470, and she bore him four children whom he openly acknowledged as his own:
- Giovanni, afterwards duke of Gandia (1474–1497);
- Cesare (1475–1507);
- Lucrezia (1480–1519);
- Gioffre (1481/1482–1518)
Before his elevation to the papacy, Alexander VI's passion for Vannozza somewhat diminished, and she subsequently led a very retired life. However, Alexander VI's love for his children by Vannozza remained as strong as ever; it proved, indeed, the determining factor of his whole career. He lavished vast sums on them and lauded them with every honour.
Vannozza had four husbands. First she married Domenico d'Arignano. Her second husband was Antonio da Brescia. In 1480 she married Giorgio della Croce. She had a son named Ottaviano with him. When she became a widow she finally married Carlo Canale.
In fiction 
- I. Cloulas, The Borgias, p. 52
- Ref: Registri e Lapide sepolcrale di Giovanna de Candia, contessa dei Cattanei, detta "Vannozza Cattanei" (Portico della Basilica di San Marco) Roma, Italia