Vannozza Cattanei

Giovanna Cattanei (1442 - 1518)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Giovanna (Vannozza) Cattanei
Born in Mantua, Mantova, Lombardia, Italiamap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Roma, Italiamap
Profile manager: Chet Snow private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 13 Feb 2015
This page has been accessed 403 times.


Giovanna dei Cattanei (called Vannozza), was born in Mantua in 1442 to Giaccomo, the Count of Mantua, and his wife, Mencia Pinctoris. Noted for her beauty, she moved to Rome where she ran a series of Inns; there she caught the eye of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later to become Pope Alexander VI, and became his mistress around 1468, at 26 years old. Possibly at his direction, she married Domenico d'Arignano, an officer of the Church, around 1473.

Between 1475 and 1481 she bore Rodrigo Borgia four children that he openly acknowledged as his:

Cesare (1475–1507)
Giovanni (1476–1497), 2nd Duke of Gandia
Lucrezia (1480–1519)
Gioffre (born 1481 or 1482; died 1518)

When Domenico died before Giovanni's birth, Cardinal Borgia had her married to Giorgio di Croce, for whom he had procured a position as apostolic secretary. In 1486 Giorgio died and Vannozza married Carlo Canale.

When Rodrigo Borgia's passion for her waned, Vannozza lived a very retired life but remained active in her children's affairs. As Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigo Borgia always sought to advance his children, financially, socially, and politically. He lavished vast sums on each of them and promoted them socially and politically whenever possible.

Giovanna dei Cattenei died in 1518 and was buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome with an elaborate ceremony by the Papal court of Leo X that reaffirmed her high status in Roman and Renaissance Catholic society. Her tomb is next that of her son, Giovanni Borgia, the Duke of Gandia.


"Ancestry of John D. Newport," online:

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Vannozza's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
Vannozza Cattanei
Vannozza Cattanei


Vannozza is 24 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 27 degrees from Katy Jurado and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

C  >  Cattanei  >  Giovanna Cattanei