Micheletto Corella (Micheletto Coreglia, Michele de Corella or Miguel de Corella) was a Valencian condottiero born on an unknown date in Valencia. He was killed in Milan in February 1508.
Known as Valentino's executioner, he and Cesare Borgia were thought to be close friends since childhood, going on to accompany one another during their studies at the University of Pisa.
On 23 December 1499, a Don Michele de Corella and the Bishop of Trani were left in Forli as lieutenants in Cesare Borgia's army around the time of the seizure of Forli.
In March, 1502, Corella was left by Cesare as his governor in Piombino. Corella was then dispatched to Pesaro with Ramiro de Lorqua under the order of Cesare Borgia in October, 1502. With his lances, on his way to Pesaro, Corella heard of the insurgence of the rebelling Fossombrone and Pergola, and ventured to those towns to sack them pitilessly as punishment.
Machiavelli describes a conversation Corella had with Oliverotto da Fermo on 31 December 1502: "Therefore Don Michele rode off and joined Oliverotto, telling him that it was not right to keep his men out of their quarters, because these might be taken up by the men of the duke; and he advised him to send them at once to their quarters and to come himself to meet the duke."
On the night of 31 December 1502, Vitellozzo Vitelli and Oliverotto da Fermo, who had been arrested under Cesare's command, were strangled to death, supposedly by Corella (hinted in Machiavelli's letter of 31 December).
In November 1503, Michele da Corella and della Volpe had gone north with seven hundred horse to support Cesare's Romagnuoli but the group were defeated in Tuscany by the army of Gianpaolo Baglioni (Rafael Sabatini, The Life of Cesare Borgia, Chapter III: Julius II) After Micheletto Corella and della Volpe were taken prisoner in 1503, Corella was first imprisoned in Florence and then in Rome where he was questioned and tortured. However, he refused to reveal the many secrets he knew about the Borgias.
He was liberated by Julius II in 1505, and thanks to Niccolò Machiavelli's mediation, was hired by Florence as bargello. He held this position for two years, until 1507.
He was killed in Milan in 1508 by some fellow countrymen although the instigator is unknown.
Historian Rafael Sabatini described Micheletto Corella as follows: "Corella was a captain of foot, a soldier of fortune, who from the earliest days of Cesare's military career had followed the duke's fortunes- the very man who is alleged to have strangled Alfonso of Aragon by Cesare's orders. He is generally assumed to have been a Spaniard, and is commonly designated as Micheletto, or Don Miguel; but Alvisi supposes him, from his name of Corella, to have been a Venetian, and he tells us that by his fidelity to Cesare and the implicit manner in which he executed his master's orders, he earned - as is notorious- considerable hatred." (Rafael Sabatini, The Life of Cesare Borgia Chapter XII: Lucrezia's Third Marriage.)
Portrayals in popular culture
- The 1981 BBC series The Borgias, starring actor Maurice O'Connell as Micheletto Corella
- The 2011 Showtime series The Borgias, starring actor Sean Harris as Micheletto
- The 2011 Canal+ series Borgia, starring actor Petr Vanēk as Don Miguel de Corella
- The Family, a novel by Mario Puzo
- Cantarella, a manga by You Higuri
- The Borgias by Alexandre Dumas, père
- Borgia, by Milo Manara (artist) & Alejandro Jodorowsky (writer), serialized graphic novel depicting the story of the Borgia family.
- Cesare by Fuyumi Soryo (manga)
- O César o nada by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
- Mémoires horrifiques et burlesques d'un tueur, a bande dessinée by Bernard Seyer
- The Borgia Chronicles, a series by Kate Quinn
- Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
- The Shame of Motley, by Rafael Sabatini
- Micheletto Corella is a character and target in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. His birth date is given as 1470.
In the novel, by 1507, after escaping from his Florentine prison after the events of Sequence 8 and the Da Vinci Disappearance DLC in the game, Micheletto traveled to Valencia, where he stayed at the Lone Wolf Inn. He and his followers set up shop in the inn, however, they were confronted there by Ezio and Machiavelli. After a brief skirmish, in which most of Micheletto's men were killed, he fled the scene.
Micheletto then made his way to the Castillo de la Mota, where Cesare had been imprisoned. Using an intricate plan, Micheletto and his followers were able to free Cesare from his cell.
Along with his master, Micheletto once again traveled to Valencia, where Cesare set to work mobilizing his forces. Their troops, however, were soon broken after an attack by the Assassins, and following this, Micheletto met with his master at their headquarters, the Lone Wolf Inn.
While Cesare explained his further plans, Micheletto stated that he would aid him with his conquests. Cesare, however, merely commented that Micheletto had failed him, and enraged by this, Micheletto attacked his master, leaping across the table to strangle him.
However, Cesare reacted faster than Micheletto, pulled a pistol and fired a shot into his head, killing him. Ironically, Ezio had previously said that by working for Cesare, Micheletto had engineered his own destruction.