An old Neapolitan Love Story
An ancient letter of the Sicilian humanist Giovanni Aurispa, written in the Anno Domini 1425, let us know a tragic love story between an aristocratic Neapolitan woman and a young Venetian.
Ludovicum Dandali, called Alvise, was a young rich and noble Venetian, erudite and with great-heartedness. At 21 years old he thought to know new countries and decided to visit the city of Naples, a sea country similar to his, famous for its amenity and with many noble families. On that time, in Naples there were five important aristocratic lineages and among them just the Capece one of whom Caterina (called with the diminutive Tirina or Tirinella as term of endearment), a beautiful and graceful girl, made part. At the age of 15 years she was betrothed to the knight Pietro, a man of 50 years old with already four sons. Six years later Alvise moved to Naples just near the Capece building and as soon as he met Tirina, fell head over her at the first sight, concealing for prudence his feeling. But, when she realized that love, reckoned to share it. With the help of her housekeeper, between the two started a love correspondence and a day, while the old husband was far from the city – as often it happened – they met, having sex.
From that moment on, they met every day and more, always in hided way, giving vent to their carnal instincts. For three years long they succeeded in achieving their relationship which, albeit difficulty and danger, seemed to be not enough. But, it’s well-known that nothing can be hided for long as no caution is able to command a deep love, so in the time some rumours began to circulate around.
A winter night, Alvise as usually was going to her home but, because the rain, Tirina stepsons had covered in the big sitting-room where all together with Tirina were reading some tale. The housekeeper approached her murmuring that her lover was arrived; she whispered to let him pass across the near sitting-room and take him upstairs in her bedroom. She even opened wide a book putting her body in front of the boys just to block their view but, even so, one of them, in the dark, saw a figure crossing the other room. Pretending to have a sudden headache she took leave of them going in her bedroom. There, she found Alvise waiting for her already naked in the bed, and nothing could keep them to have another intercourse. Possibly, she just was his first love and lover while she at the height of her full sexual power and such a passion inevitable. In the meanwhile, the stepson was narrating to his brothers what he had seen and the rumours, together the pretext of the headache, brought them to think that probaby the adultery was true. Therefore, resolutely called other relatives asking to block any way out, then armed they all went upstairs. Knocking at the door asked Tirina to open. Still in the lover arms, she answered that was having a rest, asking them to go away, but they knocked again insisting on opening the door. Annoyed Tirina repeated to go away. In the meanwhile the Venetian got dressed taking a sword and a shield from an old armour in the room with Tirina saying to escape because she then would have tried to mend the occurrence. Using an axe the four guys broke the door coming in and the first to face them was Tirina who inexorably was the first to be stabbed too. The cute lover got the same fate and both the corps then, were thrown away in a puddle in the street. On that time, this just was the stickly end for the adulterers.
No other document narrate this tragic event and oddly, even the name of Caterina is not found among her dad Marino Capece family tree.