Eufrosia Siracusa Valdaura

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Eufrosia Siracusa Valdaura was the daughter of Baron Vincenzo Siracusa .

As a daughter from a wealthy family, she received an excellent education in the monastery, which was the custom at the time. At the age of 16 she was married to the Baron Calcerano Corbera. Her beauty is said to have been very remarkable. At a reception she attracted the attention of Viceroy Marcantonio Colonna , who downright besieged her and finally seduced her. The relationship was not hidden. When the father-in-law found out about it, he went to Palermo to confront the viceroy. His position as a member of the Inquisition granted him some immunity. Marcantonio Colonna resorted to a ruse and had his immunity waived for a few days to investigate the charge that Calcerano Corbera had failed to pay off debts. He went to jail. Three days after his detention, he was found poisoned in the cell.

The husband, too, was soon found murdered in Malta, where the Viceroy had sent him. Attempts at revenge by Vincenzo Siracusa were also thwarted. Eufrosina ended up living as the viceroy's official mistress. During the renovation of Palermo, the viceroy even had a fountain built with a siren that could clearly be recognized as Eufrosina.

It is not known whether the Siracusa or the Corbera were involved in Colonna's death, the fact is that Marcantonio Colonna suffered a sudden death in Medinaceli while on a business trip to Spain on the way to Madrid. It remains unclear whether he was poisoned or not.

Completely defenseless, Eufrosina married the Marquis Lelio Massimo from Rome against the wishes of his children. His children now seemed to accept the marriage and signed up to visit the day after the wedding. Under this pretext, they entered the palace and shot the stepmother, who was instantly dead, with smuggled weapons. For this act they were beheaded in Rome.

Your will and the list of the testamentary inventory are kept in the Sciacca State Archives for the years 1556 and 1585 .


Her life is remembered in Sicilian legends to this day. The figure of Eufrosina is popularly regarded as an example of the just punishment for marital infidelity and was immortalized by Luigi Natoli in the novel “La Dama tragica”.

Even in modern times she was the subject of the story “Eufrosina. Siracusa Valdaura, Baronessa del Miserendino “by Gaspare Cannizzo, published in Palermo in 1996 , as well as a short story by L. Sciascia .