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- "He killed my husband [...] Cesare has always been jealous of my attentions, but that should not deter us."
- ―Lucrezia Borgia and her lover, Pietro Rossi, 1501.[src]
Before Alfonso married Lucrezia, her brother Cesare was impressed by his handsome looks and kind nature. In 1498 however, a marriage between Lucrezia and Alfonso was arranged by her father, Pope Alexander VI, to secure a partnership between the Papacy and Naples. The two had a happy marriage, and Lucrezia paid Cesare less romantic attention.
Wanting Lucrezia for himself, Cesare had his thugs attack Alfonso. He miraculously recovered from his wounds over the following weeks however, and in response, sent his own men after Cesare. The latter then ordered Micheletto Corella to murder Alfonso. Micheletto entered the wounded Alfonso's bedchamber, where he strangled him to death. Lucrezia was thrown out of the room and attempted in vain to ask the Pope for help. Left in great distress, and wishing to retaliate, she rebelliously entered into affairs with men such as Patrizio and Pietro Rossi.