History of la Disfida | La Disfida
The Challenge of Barletta (Italian: Disfida di Barletta) was a duel fought in the countryside of Trani, near Barletta, southern Italy, on 13 February 1503, on the plains between Corato and Andria.
The tournament was provoked by a French knight Charles de la Motte who, after drinking too much of the local wine, made disparaging remarks about the Italians. It consisted in a mounted tourney between 13 Italians (the most famous being Ettore Fieramosca), who were part of the Spanish army based in Barletta, and 13 French knights who were based in Canosa di Puglia. The Italian knights won the battle, and the French had to pay ransom. Barletta has since acquired the appellation Città della Disfida (City of the Challenge) as a result.
The event inspired a historical novel by the Italian writer Massimo D’Azeglio, Ettore Fieramosca, or La disfida di Barletta, written in 1833.