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The sad life of Beatrice Cenci...

beatriceThe sad life of Beatrice Cenci...

Rome 1599, she was 22. She was young, beautiful, rich and noble. On September 11th she was beheaded.

Her father Francesco Cenci was violent and aggressive, her mother died when she was 7. When she was 18 together with her stepmother, she was imprisoned by her father in a field house in the Roman countryside. He was overcharged by the debts and he could not afford Beatrice's dowry, that's why he exiled and imprisoned his daughter.

She started to fear him, after years of violences and probably sexual abuses, she had to find a way to escape. She asked for help desperately, she sent letters to the authorities, to the police, even to the Pope but nobody helped her.

Anyway since she was in her prison, she felt safer because she didn't meet her father very often. But the situation suddenly changed.

Francesco was sick, affected by scabies and gout, stalked by the creditors, that's why he decided to move to the same house in the countryside with his two sons Giacomo and Bernardo, also victims of the violent father.

Violences and abuses were again part of the everyday life and nobody was going to help her. She had no choice, it was time to kill him.

After two failures, Beatrice, her stepmother, her brother Giacomo helped by the lord of the manor and a blacksmith massacred and slaughtered him. His corpse was then thrown out the balcony to simulate an accident.

First investigators believed the accident but they became suspicious after some rumors and the request by the Viceroy of the Naples Kingdom and the Pope Clemens VII to start again the investigations led to the disinterment of Francesco Cenci: the injures definitely couldn't match with the accidental fall, he was assassinated!

It was easy for the investigators finding the killers, torturing even to death the participants of the homicide.

The trial was a public issue, the Romans were impressed by the bravery of such a young woman victim of a terrible man, but the verdict was: guilty! Beatrice and her stepmother were beheaded, Giacomo skinned alive. Bernardo was only 18 at time of the homicide and didn't take part to it but he was still condemned to row to the end of his life on the Pontifical galley and to attend to his family's execution.

As she requested, she was buried in a church on the Gianicolo Hill, St Peter in Montorio. She is in front of the altar, her name is not carved on the tomb stone. She was condemned to death, she had not the right.

It is said her soul is still meandering in Rome. Some people swear they saw her head on September 11th in front of Saint'Angel castle, the place of her execution...

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