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16 March 2012

Rolanda Ronchaia (? - 1354) prostitute.

Rolandinus lived most of his life in Venice, where it was commented that he had breasts and looked and acted like a woman. His wife left him, and died in the first wave of the Black Death.

Afterwards Rolandinus moved to Padua to live with a relative, and was seduced and introduced to the feminine role by a guest in the house.

Rolanda returned to Venice and took to women’s clothes. She lived in the Rialto with other prostitutes. She had many customers, and she claimed that none of them discovered that she was not a woman.

Unfortunately at this time the city fathers determined on a clean up of the city. Rolanda was arrested, brought before the Signori who noted her physical differences with curiosity, and ordered her to be burnt between the columns of justice.
  • ASV. Signori di Notti, Processi, Reg 6, f64r (1354).
  • Michael Goodich. The Unmentionable Vice: Homosexuality In The Later Medieval Period. Abc-Clio, Inc. 1979: 13.
  • Guido Ruggiero. The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985: 136.

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