Regione Piemonte

Bianca Lancia d'Agliano

Last update 11 February 2019

Among the illustrious figures that Agliano Terme counts must surely be remembered the famous Bianca Lancia, of the family of the counts of Loreto.

Bianca Lancia was the only woman who really managed to conquer the difficult heart of Frederick II of Swabia.

The two met around the year 1225, a few months after the unfortunate marriage of these with Jolanda di Brienne: it was a mutual lightning strike.

Unable to convulge in a just wedding, the two maintained a clandestine relationship but anything but secret, from which two sons were born, perhaps three: Costanza, Manfredi and, according to some, Violante.

According to a legend, during the pregnancy of Manfredi, Frederick, perhaps out of jealousy, held the lover in a tower of the castle of Gioia del Colle, where he had led her.

The princess could not resist humiliation; overcome by pain, she cut her breasts and sent them to the emperor on a tray together with the newborn. After that, according to the chronicler "passed to another life".

From that day, every night, in the tower of the castle, now called "Tower of the Empress", one hears her feeble, excruciating lament.

If this is legend, history is no less touching.

According to some, Frederick II, widower of the third wife Isabella, moved to the castle of Gioia del Colle where he found the very suffering lover.

The woman then asked him to legitimize the children born of their love, joining her with a regular marriage: which happened and allowed Bianca to be empress for a few days.

According to the "Chronic" of frà Salimbene from Parma, the marriage took place instead on the death of the emperor, then at the end of 1250.