Olimpia Giustiniani

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About Olimpia Giustiniani

Olimpia Giustiniani was an Italian noblewoman of the houses of Giustiniani and Barberini. She was the grand-daughter of Olimpia Maidalchini, niece of Pope Innocent X and wife of Don Maffeo Barberini, Prince of Palestrina.

Guistiniani was born at the Palazzo Pamphili to Andrea Giustiniani and Maria Flaminia Pamphili, of the powerful Giustiniani and Pamphili families.

After the Wars of Castro, Pope Innocent X had instigated an investigation into the Barberini family and a number of them had been forced into exile in Paris. But several years later, Giustiniani's grandmother Olimpia Maidalchini realised her influence over the pope was waning. She set out to engineer a return of the Barberini to Rome, thus currying favour with a number of their family Cardinals. The Barberini, too, were keen to return to Rome and were enthusiastic about Maidalchini's plan.

In 1653, Maidalchini decided that her 12-year-old grand-daughter, Olimpia Giustiniani, would be a perfect match for 22-year-old Maffeo Barberini, son of Don Taddeo Barberini, future Prince of Palestrina and heir to the Barberini estate.

They had five children including Francesco Barberini and Urbano Barberini. By marriage she became sister-in-law to both Cardinal Carlo Barberini and Lucrezia Barberini who married Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena.

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Olimpia Giustiniani's Timeline

May 18, 1641
Rome, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Age 15
Age 18
Age 20
Age 22
August 7, 1666
Age 25
December 27, 1729
Age 88