Matteuccia de Francesco

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Matteuccia de Francesco (died 1428) was an alleged Italian witch and nun, known as the "Witch of Ripabianca" after the village where she lived.

Matteuccia was put on trial in Rome in 1428, accused of being a prostitute, having committed desecration with other women and of the selling of love potions since 1426. She confessed having sold medicine and of having flown to a tree in the shape of a fly on the back of a demon after having smeared herself with an ointment made of the blood of newborn children. She was judged guilty of sorcery and sentenced to be burned at the stake.

Her case was one of the earliest witch trials in Europe, and perhaps the first case where a witch is mentioned flying in the air.


  • Jan Guillou, Häxornas försvarare, Piratförlaget 2002 (ISBN 916420037X) (in Swedish)
  • "Matteuccia's Prosecution". Terra Cotta di Ripabianca. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2014.