Paola Gonzaga (1463-1497)


Paola Gonzaga,born in Mantua on September 23, 1463, raised and educated in an Italian Renaissance court, is linked to Gorizia's history for being the last countess of Gorizia. Paola Gonzaga's vicissitudes are intertwined with those of Gorizia, or rather of the county of Gorizia, since her marriage in 1478 to Leonardo, she was only fifteen years old, he was over twenty years older and belonged to another culture, the German one. Cultured and refined, but slightly humped and heartbroken, the protagonist of a matrimonial agreement between the two families based exclusively on economic, dynastic and alliance reasons, which had seen no enthusiasm on the part of Count Leonardo, but rather the annoyance of having to resign himself to a new marriage in an attempt to generate an heir to which to transmit the title, Paola Gonzaga could find no gratification in the conjugal relationship, mortified by the low consideration in which her husband held her also because of the issues that arose with the Gonzaga family about the payment of Paola's dowry and with the sad awareness of being unable to fulfill her role as wife giving birth to male children: of the couple's only daughter, a little girl, we don't know her name and we don't even know if she died in childbirth or some time later, still infant. As Countess of Gorizia, Paola Gonzaga divided her time between Gorizia and Lienz, the two capitals of the county, loved by the people, but feeling exiled in a country that was foreign to her. She died between the end of 1496 and the beginning of 1497, at the age of thirty-three, perhaps in Gorizia, where it seems she was buried.

Paola Gonzaga, with the apple in her hand, portrayed by Mantegna together with the sumptuous Corte Mantovana

"Paola Gonzaga,wife of the last Count of Gorizia Leonardo, kept a secret: she was a benandante": this is how Roberto Covaz's story begins in the beautiful anthology dedicated to Benandanti. Benandanti, although they were friars, were also the protagonists of the murder of the houses of the Hermit, in Gorizia, in 1622. Imaginative stories of benandanti in isontino-bisiac sauce, those proposed by the journalist Roberto Covaz, who signed with ten other authors the anthology "La compagnia dei benandanti", recently published by Morgantieditori. Covaz has written six micro-stories, scattered in various periods, included in the chapter entitled "The Sass de San Belin". The title evokes the strange boulder that rises on the Karst near the heights of Polazzo. A boulder steeped in history, suggestions, mysticism. La Compagnia dei benandanti' is the first title of the Fabulae series. In this first anthology eleven good writers from Friuli Venezia Giulia, choosing the narrative genre most suited to their writing style, tell their version of the anthropological and religious mystery of the benandanti, the wizards-shiamans who dedicate themselves to the protection of Nature, protect its fruits, guarantee the cyclicality of the seasons and keep the strength of Life and Death in balance. Each of them has freely chosen the historical setting and a geographical place in the FVG region transformed into a narrative theatre. Here is 'La Compagnia' by writers: Lucia Burello, Stefania Conte, Roberto Covaz, Miriam Davide, Angelo Floramo, Paolo Gallina, Paolo Morganti, Paolo Paron Fabio Piuzzi, Pierluigi Porazzi, Pietro Spirito.