The battle of Fornovo (6 July ) was an unsuccessful attempt by an Italian army to stop Charles VIII of France during his retreat from Naples. Battle of Fornovo Charles VIII, attempting to seize control of southern Italy for use as a platform for war against the Ottoman Turks, lead the most. Nicolle, David. Fornovo France’s Bloody Fighting Retreat. Oxford: Osprey, Santosuosso, Antonio. “Anatomy of Defeat: The Battle of Fornovo in

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Tactical French victory; [1] Strategic Italian victory; the French were unable to intervene in force in Italy for a number of years.

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A few of the Greeks fought, and among them Pietro Busichio and Niccolo of Nin were wounded; the rest plundered the baggage train. There were about of these; some Fornoco were mingled among them, begrimed with mud and blood and looking like slaves, and these without distinction were brought into the Venetian camp and attended by the surgeons at public expense.

Alessandro Beneditti, The Battle of Fornovo (1495)

The second, the largest, was led by Charles himself. A little after them followed the second group, of which the King himself was in command.

Meanwhile the Latins and the French together were searching here and there, each one for those whom he knew, and were observing the customary truce for burial.

To him the proveditor replied on the instant that there was no need for victors to flee. This kingdom was not acquired for me, but for forhovo of you; I enjoy a very extensive kingdom in a long succession. A triumph is assured for you, Francesco Gonzaga, and for you other leaders, and to all the soldiers rich spoils have been offered.

The French army got quite badly spread out along the valley, and in fornivo end the advance guard escaped virtually unscathed. The first group, a troop of about 2, was led by Gian Giacomo Trivulzio. These the Greek soldiers at once attacked unexpectedly, turning some to flight and killing others.

Once the French groups were disorganized, the rest of the Italian troops would attack. The rest of the soldiers cast away lances and arms and lightened of this load disgracefully turned their backs and like sheep fled to Parma.


Likewise a great deal of rain had made the fields slippery and impassable for the cavalry. Gonzaga had about 20, troops Charles VIII, attempting to seize control of southern Italy for use as a platform for war against the Ottoman Turks, lead the most powerful army in Europe at that time down through Italy, defeating one Italian province after another. They had plenty more to draw upon. In that plunder 4195 saw a book in which were painted various nude images of his mistresses, differing in appearance and age as his lust and insane love had impelled him in fornoo city; these pictures he carried with him as souvenirs.

There was in addition a large phalanx of spear soldiers. Fornpvo 1 May this army was threatening the garrisons that Charles had left in a trail down Italy to guard his communications with France. Lodovico, duke of Milan, had had almost the same report in a letter from the Count of Caiazzo, and his mind was greatly disturbed; he had sent a copy of this letter to the Senate.

Battle of Fornovo, 1495

However, League cavalry was able to loot the French baggage train, claiminggold ducats as well as forcing most French soldiers to go without tents, dry clothes and food for the night Nicolle, The League army decided to stop him at Fornovo, near the northern end of the valley.

Then Rodolfo, though 14995 with blood, also encouraged the cavalry and fornovoo to fight and called upon the men in the name of their ancient courage. Meanwhile after the French King had pitched camp he weighed a dubious plan 1945 flee toward Asti, a route dangerous and long.

Armies comprising forces from the many independent towns of Italy were raised by establishing a contract, or condottabetween the town leaders and the leaders of mercenary bands, who came to be called Condottieri.

fornofo Saintly men offered their vows continuously at the shrines, and nuns forovo in the churches that Almighty and All Merciful God might defend the Venetian Senate through the mediation of its protector St. The French with their leader were in the front and gave the appearance of an advancing army. The speed and violence of the campaign left the Italians stunned. He attempted in the next few years to rebuild his army, but was hampered by the serious fonrovo incurred by the previous one, and he never succeeded in recouping anything substantive.


The line over which Giovanni Francesco of Caiazzo had command was scattered by fear of missiles rather than by actual carnage. Neither army had destroyed the other, but the French had won, fighting off superior numbers and proceeding on their march.

Battle of Fornovo, – The Art of Battle

Following the battle, the Italian army was unintentionally split, with some troops withdrawing to Parmawhile others moved to Reggio Emilia. Meanwhile much blood was shed, nor was it allowed those who in fear or cowardice had begun fighting on the other side of the Taro to stop at this time. It was difficult for the heavily armored Latin troops to bring assistance over the uneven defiles of the field, the shifting gravel of the river, and the inaccessible banks. Between these two lines two thousand foot soldiers were distributed.

Machines protected the first line from the front and the second toward the Taro, and they were drawn up properly and with such military discipline that nothing was out of the right order and neither soldier nor footman wandered off from the line. Charles entered Naples early in and began to establish his authority.

Alessandro Beneditti, The Battle of Fornovo () » De Re Militari

And so when he saw that he had to fight, he decided to undergo the risk of battle and sent about forty soldiers ahead to reconnoiter. Archived from the original on 30 July Others were cramped by the narrow quarters and tried in vain to carry out their orders. The war with King Alfonso and his son we fought without bloodshed. Among the French likewise the servants and camp-followers who were killed increased the number of the slain. The messenger, having scouted the troops, reported back to Charles.

During this confusion Rodolfo Gonzaga, who had fought a memorable battle in the midst of the enemy lines, opened his helmet, was seriously fornivo on the face, and straightway fell.

Charles bequeathed a meagre legacy: This handing out of territory is symptomatic of Charles’ lack of foresight.