The curious legends of Vigevano

Le curiose leggende di Vigevano- Piazza ducale-notte-Torre del Bramante-

Discover the Imaginary Tales Born from the Minds of Vigevanesi

Are you visiting Vigevano and wondering if there are any intriguing legends? Well, read on and join us in exploring the Legends of Vigevano!

Like any respectable city, Vigevano boasts its own curious legends, undoubtedly born from the vivid imagination of its citizens. Yet, as with every fantastical tale, there’s an unconscious desire to believe. Each legend aims to commemorate the city’s glorious past and the renowned figures that made it significant and beautiful.

Let’s not waste any more time and dive into them!

Legends of Vigevano: Vigevanesi Women Against Francesco Sforza

The first of the Legends of Vigevano begins in June 1449 when the city was besieged by Francesco Sforza’s troops. The condottiero sought to conquer the city, one of the last resisting his ascent to the Duchy of Milan. After the death of the last Visconti duke in Milan, the Ambrosian Republic was proclaimed, supported by major ducal cities, including Vigevano. In his bid for power, aided by neighboring states opposed to the situation, Francesco Sforza faced the resilient Vigevanesi

How Vigevano’s Women Repelled the Sforza Army

The siege had endured for weeks. Seven attacks by Sforza’s forces had shattered against the resolute resistance of the Vigevanesi and their imposing fortress. One morning, Francesco Sforza decided it was the decisive moment. Rallying all available troops, he promised generous rewards for those who breached the fortress. The troops, excited by the prospect, launched a relentless assault. The battle raged for hours, with varying fortunes, but the besiegers failed to breach the sturdy walls. However, the exhausted Vigevanesi eventually faltered, allowing the first enemy soldiers to enter.

Just when the situation seemed to favor the enemy, they were unexpectedly met by a group of indomitable women. Armed with the weapons of their now exhausted husbands, brothers, and sons, they engaged the Sforza soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Their fierceness not only halted the advance but drove the assailants back beyond the walls. The spirited resistance of Vigevano’s women allowed the defenders to regroup sufficiently to continue the fight. Tradition holds that Camilla dei Rodolfi led this group of courageous women, a street in the city still dedicated to her—a shining example of Girl Power, wouldn’t you agree?

The curious Legends of Vigevano - Painting - Women of Vigevano - Camilla dei Rodolfi - Francesco Sforza
Painting depicting the women of Vigevano repelling the Sforza army

The battle continued for hours until the discouraged enemy retreated. Recognizing the Vigevanesi’s courage, Francesco Sforza initiated negotiations for a mutually beneficial peace. Vigevano, on June 6, 1449, surrendered but secured significant privileges.

Legends of Vigevano: Ludovico il Moro’s White Horse

Another legend of Vigevano features Ludovico il Moro’s white horse. The story unfolds on the night following the duke’s dramatic defeat at Novara in 1500, marking the definitive end of his reign, which had brought many positive changes to Vigevano.

The legend tells of the magnificent figure of the white horse galloping into Vigevano’s square in the dark of the night. At great speed, it raced up the ramp leading from the square to the castle entrance, searching for its master. The horse, the duke’s favorite, had been replaced by an ordinary steed to shield it from the perils of battle. Finding the fortress door locked, the steed returned frenzied to the square, repeatedly pounding its iron-clad hooves on the pavement. Suddenly, the few onlookers witnessed it vanish into the ground. It’s said that its powerful kicks had opened a hole in the ground, causing it to plunge without anyone finding its body. The astonished locals had to fill, at their expense, the pit that had opened in a cellar vault

the curious Legends of Vigevano - White Horse of Ludovico il Moro - Massimiliano Sforza - Vigevano
Massimiliano Sforza who presumably rides his father Ludovico’s white horse

Legends of Vigevano: The Golden Hen

The last of the Legends of Vigevano we want to share is perhaps the most peculiar and imaginative. The legend of the Golden Hen of Vigevano was a well-known story, even making its way into some 19th-century French publications. According to the legend, at one minute past midnight every December 31st, a hen completes thirteen rounds around the castle walls. It is followed by eleven chicks. The strangeness lies not in the fact itself but in the material—they are solid gold! Moreover, the mother hen has two sparkling diamonds in place of eyes, while the chicks boast glistening rubies.

The tale continues that anyone encountering this curious family and uttering mysterious phrases, not passed down for obvious reasons, would receive a delightful surprise. The golden hen would transform into a blonde-haired woman, and the eleven chicks would turn into blonde pages. Furthermore, the fortunate individual could marry the young woman and, in addition, become exceedingly wealthy, as each page held a secret to reach a vast treasure! No one has managed to encounter them so far, or we would have heard about it, right? Still, maybe a visit to Vigevano on New Year’s Eve wouldn’t hurt! You never know!

In the end, you may believe or not believe in the curious Legends of Vigevano, but surely knowing them will enhance your appreciation for this beautiful city!

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Article Name
The curious legends of Vigevano
Explore the enchanting Legends of Vigevano – a captivating journey through mythical tales rooted in the city's rich history and folklore!"
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice

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