Giangiorgio Trissino was born to patrician parents, Gaspare Trissino and Cecilia Bevilacqua, in Vicenza. From his family, he inherited vast estates. His education did not begin in earnest until 1506, when, already a widower with two children, he settled in Milan, where he became a student of Chalcondyles. At the home of Chalcondyles, he met Ippolita Sforza Bentivoglio and the beautiful Cecilia Gallerana, both of whom figure prominently in his letters and poetry.
In 1509, Vicenza was allotted to the Holy Roman Empire, and when the city gave itself back to the Venetian Republic a month later, Trissino’s loyalty to Maximilian forced him into exile in Germany for some months and caused the temporary confiscation of his property. He returned to Italy the next year, settling in Ferrara, where he met Lucrezia Borgia. To escape the humidity of Ferrara, he moved on to Florence, where he frequented Machiavelli’s literary circle, and then to Rome, where he associated with Bembo and enjoyed the friendship of Rucellai. Trissino and Rucellai composed their plays La Sofonisba and Rosmunda concurrently, meeting from time to time to recite verses and compare notes. In Rome, Trissino established himself as a capable diplomat, serving Popes Leo X, Clement VII, and Paul III. Leo X sent him on a mission to Bavaria and on his return effected his pardon from the Venetian Republic and the restitution of his property. At the time of the coronation of Charles...
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