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March 10, 2015

The Decameron Day 5 Story 3 by Giovanni Boccaccio- Summary

The Decameron Day 5 Story 3 by Giovanni Boccaccio- Summary

Storyteller: Elissa

Pietro Boccammazza, who came from one of the most famous families in Rome, fell in love with Agnolella, the daughter of a beloved Plebeian man, Gigliuozzo Saullo. Pietro was forbidden by his family to marry Agnolella; they even threaten Agnolella's father, who then forbade Agnolella to marry Pietro. The couple were very upset and devised a plan to elope.

Early one morning, they awoke and mounted their horses and headed to Anagni, Pietro had friends there that he trusted implicitly. They rode along on the unfamiliar rode to Anagni all the while speaking words of love and kissing one another. When they came upon a fork in the rode Pietro mistakenly went left when he should have gone right. They had only made it about eight miles from Rome when they happened upon a castle. Twelve soldiers started riding towards them, which spooked Agnolella. She thought the soldiers were going to attack them, so she told Pietro "Let's flee," and she rode off into the woods as fast as she could. Pietro didn’t move fast enough and was overtaken by the soldiers. They questioned him and discovered that he was a friend of their enemies, so they decided to show their contempt for the Orsini family by taking his horse and clothes, and stringing him up from one of the oak trees. As Pietro was disrobing, twenty-five soldiers appeared out of nowhere and began attacking the twelve soldiers. Pietro quickly grabbed his clothes and horse and rode off in the direction that he had seen his beloved go. He looked and called out for Agnolella, but there was no sign of her. He began to cry over his misfortune and feared for his and his beloved safety. He looked for her for a long time, but night came and he was exhausted from the day, so he tied his horse to an oak tree and climbed up the tree to avoid being attacked by wild animals. Pietro did not sleep at all that night.

Agnolella, meanwhile, wandered aimlessly around the forest looking and crying out for Pietro to no avail. Finally, she came upon a path in the forest that led to a cottage. At the cottage she found a very old man and his wife, whom she asked if Anagni was nearby. The old man told her that Anagni was twelve miles away, and that this was not the road to Anagni. Agnolella was distraught and asked them if they knew of a place she could stay the night. The old man said that she could stay with them in their cottage if she wished, but he warned her that they wouldn't be able to safeguard her from any bad sort of fellow that might happen to come along. Agnolella was scared by his warning, but decided to stay anyway.

Close to daybreak, Agnolella heard a commotion outside, and went to look what it was. She saw a band of brigands coming towards the little cottage, so she hid in a large pile of hay. The men saw Agnolella's horse still fully saddled and demanded to where she was. The old man told them that the horse must have wandered off, because it appeared out of nowhere the previous night. The brigands decided that they would keep the horse since it had no owner. The brigands spread out around the house eating and drinking. One of the men went outside to the courtyard where Agnolella was hiding in the hay pile. He threw his sword in the hay pile nearly killing Agnolella, but she remained silent. Finally, the brigands left and The old man and his wife went to look for Agnolella. He told her that they would accompany her to a castle that was about five miles away and there she would be safe.

The castle belonged to Liello di Campo di Fiore, who happened to be a member of the Orsini family. He and his wife just so happened to be staying in the castle at the time, and when Liello's wife saw Agnolella, she recognized her immediately, Pietro was friends with her husband. Agnolella told her everything, including that Pietro had been taken captive, which vexed Liello's wife because she was sure that he was dead.

Meanwhile, Pietro was up in the oak tree when a pack of wolves surrounded him and his horse. The horse reared and broke free, but it was not able to defend itself from the wolves and was killed. When the wolves had finished their meal they ran off. Just before daybreak, Pietro spotted a fire and went to investigate it for he was both cold and hungry. When he arrived at the fire he saw a group of shepherds eating and drinking around the fire. The Sheppard's invited him to join them, which Pietro quickly accepted. He told them of his misfortune and asked them if they knew of a castle or villa around that he could go to. They told him that Liello di Campo di Fiore's castle was about three miles away. Two of the shepherd's accompanied Pietro to the castle.

When he arrived he set about preparing a search party to find his beloved, but was interrupted by a summons from Liello's wife. Pietro immediately went to see Liello's wife and upon arrival he discovered Agnolella was there with her. They were both overjoyed to see one another, but managed to contain themselves. Liello's wife reproached them for going against their families wishes, but realized that it would be to no avail. They had a beautiful wedding, at Liello's expense, and returned to Rome with Liello's wife. Their families were furious, but Liello's wife managed to smooth things over, and the two lovers lived happily ever after.


Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Translated by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella, Signet Classic, 1982.