Jeanne Kalogridis

The Borgia Bride Places

Here is the Castel Nuovo in Naples, built by Sancha’s ancestors. At the top of the white stonework is a statue of Alfonso the Magnificent. Today, the locals refer to the place the Maschio Angioino (the Angevin Keep), which would infuriate Sancha no end.



To the left is the prophet Hosea and the Delphic Sybil, from the Hall of the Sibyls where Alfonso of Aragon was cold-bloodedly attacked.





The Castel Sant’Angelo can be translated as the Castle of the Angel-Saint – in this case, the Archangel-Saint Michael, whose massive form adorns the top of the fortress. The Castel served as Sancha of Aragon’s prison after she fell from grace. History says that at one point during her imprisonment, she fled to the rooftop, where she shouted curses at the Pope and Cesare, and got into a few heated exchanges with passersby. This photograph shows the view from the Vatican, looking across the bridge that spans the Tiber River. It’s the exact view that Sancha of Aragon saw in the final scene of THE BORGIA BRIDE. I mention the Castel Sant’Angelo as well in the earliest scenes of THE BLOODIEST QUEEN, the story of Catherine de’ Medici.