Falcon in Decameron

Step 2 of 6

Retelling the novella

The ninth novella of the fifth day: the ninth novella tells the story about Federigo degli Alberighi and his falcon. Even though this day is dedicated to love stories full of obstacles but with a happy ending, this novella in particular teaches us that happiness does not just simply happen; one has to be willing to make sacrifices.

The novella takes place in Florence, where Federigo degli Alberighi is in love with a lady. "He is highly regarded due to his position in the arms trade and his courteous manners. His heart is set on the noble Monna Giovanna. However, she does not love him in return. To win her over, he donates all his possessions to Monna Giovanna and dissipates his entire fortune, but she still does not show any gratitude for his gifts nor for his deeds. Federigo is left poor and lost, with only his falcon remaining.The family of Federigo degli Alberighi was one of the oldest noble Florentine families, who lived close to the house of Dante Alighieri. His family name is once before mentioned in another well-known Italian literary piece: La Divina Commedia by Dante. According to Boccaccio, we can find in Federigo all the important character qualities of a nobleman. See Anonymous, “Giovanni Boccaccio: Federigo e il suo falcone”, Zanichelli, 2009: 350-357. Federigo is forced to retreat to his country house in Campi, where he lives in poverty and dedicates his days to his falcon, which was one of the best and most beautiful in the world.