Witches and Witchtrials in Italy

Compiled by Marc Carlson
It was last edited 9 June 2004
My thanks to Andy Anderson pd49@dial.pipex.com for assistance on converting the table.

Much of this work was based on the "Calender of Witch Trials" in European witch trials, their foundations in popular and learned culture, 1300-1500.  Berkeley: University of California Press, by Richard Keickhefer.  Please note, this listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but is an ongoing compilation, as this evidence comes out.


Date Place # Name Sex Notes and sources:
371 Rome ? "Some People" ? Used divination to determine the time of death of the Emperor Valentian I, and the name of his successor, were tried and executed (Source: Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 41)
1320 Italy, Ancona 8 ?? m Eight Ghibbeline Lords of Recanati, allies of Federico of Montefeltro (count of Urbino) charged by John XXII with idolatry, heresy, and Invocation.  (Sources: Raynaldus, Annaks, a.a. 1322,  no. 1ff., and esp.  1321, no. 38; Conrad Eubel, ed., Builariun franciscanuin sive Roinanorum pontificuin constitutiones (Rome, 1898-1904), V, no. 405, 455a, 46i, 536, 582.   Hansen, Zauberwahn, 334; F. Bock, 'I processi di Giovanni XXII contro 1 Ghibellini delle Marche', Bolletino dell'Istituto storico 1taliano per 11 medio evo, LVII (194I), 19-43; Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 193; Kieckhefer, European witch trials)
c1340 Italy, Novara 1 ?? ? Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism [case known only from possibly forged judicial opinion attributed to Bartolo of Sassoferrato (both opinions are given, at different times, by Keickhhefer)]  (Sources: Hansen, Quelien, 64-6; cited Ibid., 453.  Hansen, Zauberwahn, 334-6; Lea, History ofthe Inquisition, III, 534; Lea, Materials, 1, 232. See esp.  Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 138-45; Keickhefer, European Witch Trials; Keickhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages)
1344/46 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? A number of people, including a widow, a monk, and the rector of a church are interrogated by the Inquisition for using charms (Sources: Keickhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 192)
1360c Italy, Como ? ?? ? Unspecified number of persons tried (presumably by Inquisitor) as members of secta strigiarum, according to sixteenth-century treatise.  (Sources: Hansen, Quellen, 282; cited Ibid., 454. Hansen, Zauberwahn, 337.  Cohn, In Europe's Inner Demons, 145f, dismisses this case as a fiction; 1t seems more likely that it is based on an archival reference to action against some form of witchcraft, probably mere sorcery.)
1370 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Date given for trial by Russell, Witchcraft, 2io, evidently In reference to trial Of 1390.1)
1371 Italy, Salurn 2 ??? ? Woman and man tried by secular court for 1mage magic; woman apparently executed.  (Sources: Hartmann Ammann, 'Ein Mordversuch durch Zauberei 1m jahre 1371', Mittheilungen des dsterreichischen Instituts fur Geschichtsforschung, X (1889), 135-8 (with commentary).   Hansen, Zauberwahn, 389.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1375 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Woman tried for love magic by municipal court; sentenced In absentia to burning, but sentence later canceled.  (Sources: Excerpts translated In Brucker, Society of Renaissance Florence, zeof  Brucker, 'Sorcery@, gf, 23 (from MS).)
1375 Italy, Reggio ? ?? ? Gabrina degli Albeti branded and mutilated by municipal court for sorcery (mostly love magic), diabolically Instigated curses, and Invocation. (Sources: Aldo Cerlini, 'Una strep reggiana e 1l suo processor Studi storici, XV (igo6), 59-68 (with commentary).  Russell, Witchcraft, 209f)
1375c Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Woman tried for magic.   Cerlini, 'Una dama e una stega', 85; Russell, Witchcraft, 210.)
1383 Italy, Siena ? ?? ? Effort by Inquisitor to Instigate proceedings against group of witches, who allegedly engaged In love magic, Invocation (to obtain murder), and especially diabolism; no record of judicial proceedings.  (Sources: G. Sanesi, 'Un episodio d'eresia nel 1383', Builettino senese di storia patria, III (1896), 384f.  Brucker, 'Sorcery', 1 9f , 23; Russell, Witchcraft, 2 1o.)
1384 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Niccolo Consigli executed by Inquisitor for illicit exorcism', necromancy, divination, sorcery (infliction of disease, attempt at death, and manipulation of affections), and diabolism.  (Sources: Excerpts translated In Brucker, Society of Renaissance Florence, 36i-6.   Brucker, 'Sorcery', 13-16, 22f. (from M8).)
1384 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Woman tried by Inquisitor for attending assemblies with 'Oriente'. Verga, 'Documenti', 1 66; Russell, Witchcraft, 2 1I.)
1387-8 Italy, Turin and Pinarolo ? ?? ? Waldensians tried by Inquisitor; charges Included diabolical assemblies.  (Sources: Girolamo Amatil 'Processus contra Valdenses In Lombardia superiori, anno 1387', 4rchivio storico 1taliano, ser. 3, 1) Pt 2 (I 864), 3-52, and 1I, Pt 1 (I 865), 3-6i; excerpts Inj.j. 1. von D611inger, Beitrdge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelaiters, 1I (Munich, 18go), 251-73.   Hansen, Zauberwahn, 41 1; Lea, Materials, 1, 204; Riezler, Geschichte der He.ren- prozesse, 46; Russell, Witchcraft, 220; Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 37f)
1390 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Woman executed by Inquisitor for attendance at assemblies led by 'Diana' or 'Erodiade' or 'Oriente'.   Verp, 'Documenti', 1 67 (from MS); Russell, Witchcraft, 7-13.)
1390 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Woman executed for diabolism by Inquisitor.   Verga, 'Documenti', 167 (from MS); Russell, Witchcraft, 211)
1390 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Woman tried, presumably by ecclesiastical court, for attending assemblies with 'Diana'.   Verga, 'Documenti', 167 (from MS); Russell, Witchcraft, 2I2f)
1394 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Woman whipped and imprisoned by municipal court for love magic.  Brucker, 'Sorcery', 10, 24 n. 45.)
1396 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Man imprisoned by municipal court for attempted divination. Brucker, 'Sorcery', 1 2f , 22, 24 (from MS).)
1399 Italy, Portogruaro ? ?? ? Unspecified number of witches burned; court not specified. (Sources: Francesco di Manzano, Annali del Friuli, VI (Udine, 1868),139; reprinted In Bonomo, Caccia, 478 n. 1. Russell, Witchcraft, 209.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1404 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Man sentenced to penance and imprisomnent by municipal court for various offenses; had employed love magic (applying unguent to his own genitals before Intercourse, Leaving Inscribed parchment In certain place) and administering pulverized bird-bones) and other forms of magic.  (Sources: Excerpts In Brucker, Society of Renaissance Florence, 266-8.   'Brucker, 'Sorcery',IOf, 22., 2.4 n. 45 (from MS).)
1409 Italy, Pisa ? ?? ? Trial of Benedict XIII at council of Pisa for divination, Invocation, sorcery (weather magic), and other offenses. (Sources: J. Vincke, 'Acta Concilii 120 Calendar of Witch Trials Pisani' . Rimische Quartalschriftfir christliche 41tertumskunde undfsir Kirchen- geschichte, YLVI (I938), esp. 185-2o8.   Margaret Harvey, 'Papal Witch- craft The Charges against Benedict XIII', Sanctity and Society The Church and the World, ed.  Derek Baker (Oxford, 1973), 109-16.)
1412 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Man sentenced to amputation and banishment by municipal authorities for fraudulent claims; had obtained money from certain Individuals by promising to Invoke devil In their service. (Sources: Excerpts translated In Brucker, Society ofrenaissance Florence, 268-70)
1420-3 Italy, Rome ? ?? ? Woman burned by Inquisitor for changing self Into form of cat and killing children, with devil's aid.  (Sources: Felix 14enimerlin, Dialogus de nobilitate et rusticitate, C. 32 (reprinted In Hansen, Quellen, 1io); Johann Hartlieb, Buch aller verbotenen Kunst, c. 3 3 (reprinted In Hansen, Quellen, 13 1).  Hansen, Zauberwahn, 349; Russell, Witchcraft, 2 1 6; Riezler, Geschichte der Hexenprozesse, 68f Hemmerlin gives the date 1420, while Hartlieb (an eyewitness) gives 1423.  The Incident may be 1dentical with one In 1424, Rome (q.v.), though Riezler 1s rightly cautious about makeing this identification.)
1421 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? 2 women penanced by municipal court for contriving sorcery and Incantation to recruit personnel for brothel.   Brucker, 'Sorcery', 1 1, 24 n. 45 (from MS).)
1422 Italy, Venice ? ?? ? Franciscans tried by ecclesiastical-secular commission for sacrificing to demons.   Lea, History of the Inquisition, III, 547; cited In Hansen, Quelen, 455; Hansen, Zauberwahn, 338 n. 1.; Russell, Witchcraft, 2IO.)
1424 Italy, Rome ? ?? ? Woman burned by unspecified court for killing children and bewitching people.  (Sources: Hansen, Quellen, 529f  Hansen, Zauberwahn, 349; Lea, History of the Inquisition, III, 535; Riezler, Geschichte der Hexenprozesse, 68; Russell, Witchcraft, 216.  Cf 1420or 1423, Rome, for date.)
1427 Italy, Benevento ? ?? ? (Source: Date given In Russell, Witchcr4ft, 338; applies only to sermon given by St Bernardino, with reference to undated story about witchcraft.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1427 Italy, Florence ? ?? ? Woman beheaded by secular court for love magic and Invocation. Brucker, 'Sorcery', 16f (from MS).)
1427 Italy, Rome 1 ?? ?w Burned.  Confessed without torture for the murder of 30 children and sucking their blood, killing many other people, including her own son with a magic powder.  (Source: Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, 195)
1428 Italy, Todi ? ?? ? Matteuccia Francisci burned by municipal court for witchcraft; In first part of trial, charged with various forms of sorcery (mostly love magic), Incantation, and beneficent magic; In second part, charged with diabolism and killing children as strega.  (Sources: Candida Peruzzi, 'Un processo di stregoneria a Todi nel '400', Lares  Organo delta Societd di Etnografia 1taliana-Roma, XXI (I955), fasc.  1-II, 1-17 (with conunentary).   Bonomo, Caccia, 119.)
1445 Italy, Perugia ? ?? f Woman burned by secular court for divination and sorcery. (Sources: 'Cronaca della citta di Perugia dal '3og al 14ig nota col nome di "Diario del Graziani" ', 4rchivio storico 1taliano, ser. 1, XVI (i 85o), pt 1, p. 565; reprinted In Hansen, Quellen, 547f-  Calendar of Witch Trials 127; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1446 Italy, Perugia ? ?? ? Date given In Russell, Witchcraft, 339, for trial Of 1445, q.v.)
1448 Italy, Gorze 1 ?? ?m Banished
1448 Italy, Gorze 1 ?? ?f Burned
1448 Italy, Gorze ?? ?f Branded 2 women and 1 man tried by secular court as witches; 1 woman burned, other branded, man banished.  (Sources: Huguenin, Chroniques, 261; reprinted In Hansen, Quellen, 552f; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1454 Italy, Ferrara ? ?? ? Woman burned by secular court for love magic.   Werner L. Gundersheimer, 'Crime and Punishment In Ferrara, 1440-I500', In Lauro Martines, ed., Vioknce and Civil Disorder In 1talian Cities, 1200-1500 (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1972), 120f)
1455 Italy, Edolo (Val Camonica) ? ?? ? Unspecified number of witches accused by Inquisitor, who requested aid of secular authority; had allegedly rejected sacraments, immolated children, adored devil.   Cesare Cantii, Gli e"tici d'Italia, III (Torino, 1868), 143; summarized In Hansen, Quellen, 472; Hansen, Zauberwahn, 419; Lea, Materials, 1, 235.)
1455 Italy, Locarno 1 ?? ? burned
1456 Italy, Como ? ?? m Man tried for witchcraft and Invocation by Inquisitor; absolved. Vittorio Spinetti, le streghe In Valtellina (Sondrio, 1903), 56-8.)
1457 Italy, Milan ? ?? m Man burned by secular court as stregone.   Hansen, Quellen, 569.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1460-70 Italy, Milan, Como, Turin ? ?? ? Hansen, Quellen, 476, deduces from the treatises of Girolamo Visconti, Ambrose de Vignate, Bernard of Como, and Sylvester Prierias that these cities witnessed witch trials during this decade; while the treatises do imply familiarity with recent proceedings, any specification of time and place remains speculative; d, however, the reference to Mendristo, c- 1457, In Hansen, Quelen, 281.)
1462 Italy, Ascanio and Bologna ? ?? ? References given In Russell, Witchcraft, 339, to  letter of Mariano Sozzini, In which Sozzini relates a story about a witch; action of the story is not dated, and is fanciful; there i no evidence of judical action.)
1463-4 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Reference given In Bonomo, Caccia, 143; sources cited letters, which do not give details of prosecution.)
1465 Italy, Porlezza ? ?? ? Reference given In Russell, Witchcraft, 339; source is undated petition from citizens of Porlezza to Francesco Sforza, requesting prosecution of witches responsible for bewitching townsmen; no record of consequent judicial action.  (Sources: Luigi Fumi, 'L'Inquisizione romana e lo stato di Milano', archivio storico lombardo, ser. 4, XIII, anno 37 (I9IO), 1o6.)
1466 Italy, Assisi ? ?? ? Ecclesiastical trial of heretics, accused Inter alia of holding diabolical assemblies.  (Sources: Franz Ehrle, 'Die Spiritualen, 1hr Verhil@ zum Franziskanerorden und zu den Fmticeflen', 4rchivfu-r Literatur- und Kirchen- geschichte des Mittelalters, IV (1888), 110-34.   Hansen, Zauberwahn, 412; Cohn, Europe's Inner Demons, 44-9.)
1467-80 Italy ? ?? ? (Reference given In Russell, Witchcraft, 339; not borne out In source there cited.)
1467 Italy, Brescia ? ?? m Man tried by Inquisitor for heresy; allowed abjuration; later charged with diabolism, 148o, but record does not specify that this charge arose 1467.  (Sources: Guenini, Cronache bresciane, 185.1; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1467 Italy, Rome ? ?? ? Fraticelli tried for holding nocturnal orgies and maleing sacramental powder from ashes ofchildren.   Lea, Materials, 1, 203; Russell Witchcraft, 339.1)
1468 Italy, Bologna ? ?? ? Prior tried by secular court for maintaining succubi In brothel, and offering sacrifice to them.   Jakob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance In 1taly, transl.  S. G. C. Mddlemore (New York, 1929), 1I@ 502 n. 2; cited In Hansen, Quellen, 578; Lea, Materials, 1. 255 ('This seems to be the acme of the superstition').)
1472 Italy, Forna-Rivara 3 ?? ? burned
1472 Italy, Val Canavese 3 ?? f 3 women burned by ecclesiastical court for witchcraft.  Vayra, 'Le streghe del Canavese', esp. 256ff., 658ff.; cited In Hansen, Queleni 485.)
1474 Italy, Levone 2 ?? ? burned
1474-5 Italy, Val Canavese 5 ?? f 5 women burned by ecclesiastical court for witchcraft.  Vayra, 'Le streghe del Canavese', esp. 228; excerpt In Hansen, Quelen, 485-7; Lea, History of the Inquisition, III, 518f)
1474-5 Italy, Val Canavese 2 ?? f 2 women tried by ecclesiastical court for witchcraft.  Vayra, 'Le streghe del Canavese', esp. 228-36; excerpt In Hansen, Quellen, 485-7; Lea, History of the Inquisition, III, 516f)
1475 Italy, Forna 5 ?? ? burned
1476 Italy, Brescia ? ?? m Man tried by Inquisitor for relapse Into h@; reLeased; later charged with diabolism, 148o,- but record does not specify that this charge arose 1467.  (Sources: Guerrini, Cronache bresciane, 185f; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1476 Italy, Milan ? ?? ? Woman accused of magic; illicitly absolved by Dominican posing as Inquisitor.  (Sources: Hansen, Quelen, 487.   Hansen, Zauberwahn, 4I9f 1)
1480 Italy, Brescia ? ?? m Man tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism.  (Sources: Gueffini, Cronhe bresciane, 1, 185f; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1480 Italy, Brescia ? ?? f Maria 'Medica' tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism, sorcery and Invocation (love magic, @g), divination, and cures. (Sources: Guerrini, Cronache bresciane, 1, 183-5.   Bonomo, Ca"ia, 121; Russell, Witchcraft, 26of; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1480-9 Italy, Sardinia ? ?? ? (Reference In Russell, Witchcraft, 339, not borne out In source given.)
1485-7 Italy, Brescia ? ?? ? Reference given In Russell, Witchcraft, 339; not borne out In source there cited.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1486 Italy, Brescia ? ?? ? Unspecified number of persons condemned by ecclesiastical court for heresy; Hansen Interprets the offense (probably rightly) as witchcraft.  (Sources: Hansen, Quellen, 29; cited Ibid., 502.  Lea, History of the Inquisiiion, III, 547.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1497 Italy, Modena 1 ?? f Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for counter-sorcery.; Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials)
1500s Italy 1 Bragadini, Mark Antony m Beheaded.
1510 Italy - North 60 ??? ?? ? burned
1518-21 Italy, Val Camonica 64 ??? ?? ? burned
1523 Italy, Como 100 ??? ?? ? Burned
1524 Italy, Como 1000+ ??? ?? ? Burned
1552-1722 Italy, Venetian Inquisition 549 ??? ? Tried. 78.3% Women (Source: McLachlan, et al. "Witchcraft and Rape"; Monter, E. William. "Patterns of Witchcraft in the Jura". in Levack.)
1583 Italy, Meolcina "Several" ?? ? burned
1583 Italy, Mesocina 1 Quattrino, Dominic f burned
1647 (4/14) Italy, Castelnovo 1 Camelli, Domenica f beheaded and burned.
1647 (4/14) Italy, Castelnovo 1 Gratiadei, Domenica f beheaded and burned
1647 (4/14) Italy, Castelnovo 1 Caveden, Lucia f beheaded and burned
1647 (4/14) Italy, Castelnovo 1 Cemola, Zinevra f beheaded and burned
1647 (4/14) Italy, Castelnovo 1 Baroni, Catterina f beheaded and burned.

Historical Witches and Witchtrials in Italy.

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