- "I love you so. I want to sing it to the heavens."
- ―Pietro professing his love to Lucrezia Borgia, 1501.[src]
Pietro Rossi (born 1470) was a stage performer and one of Lucrezia Borgia's lovers.
Pietro Rossi began his acting career in the theatre of Ercole I d'Este in Ferrara. He left in 1494, having been caught in bed with an actress who played one of the Three Graces. Arriving in Rome, he joined the theatre of Cardinal Raffaele Riario, particapting in the Ancient Roman plays of Seneca the Younger, Plautus and Terence. During this time, he frequently appeared on the registers of the Rosa in Fiore.
Relationship with Lucrezia
As of 1500, Pietro was engaged in a relationship with Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. However, due to the tendency of her brother's – Cesare Borgia's – jealous rages towards her lovers, Lucrezia and Pietro kept their relationship a secret. However, in order to allow him to visit her easily and unnoticed, Lucrezia gave Pietro a key to the side door of the heavily-guarded Castel Sant'Angelo.
On one of Pietro's visits, Lucrezia instructed a guard to spy on the two of them as Pietro kissed her and openly confessed his love for her. After Pietro left, Lucrezia then told the guard to inform her brother of their relationship, wishing to purposefully ire Cesare.
Colosseum Passion play
In 1503, Cesare sent his personal assassin Micheletto Corella to kill Pietro during the Passion play in the Colosseum, for which Pietro performed as Jesus Christ. Unbeknownst to Pietro, Micheletto had infiltrated the cast and planned to stab Pietro to death in an "accident," under the guise of his role.
During the Crucifixion act, the play was interrupted by the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who intended to kill Micheletto before he could assassinate Pietro. Despite this, Micheletto had poisoned the wine that Pietro drank earlier in the act.
Foregoing his planned assassination, much to Micheletto's surprise, Ezio instead rushed Pietro away from the fight to the nearest doctor, Brunelleschi, for treatment. After Pietro appeared to be recovering from the poison, Ezio demanded that he give him the key to the Castel Sant'Angelo. While Pietro protested that he was only a "poor actor", Ezio rebutted that Cesare knew of his and Lucrezia's affair, to which Pietro finally handed over the key; thus, fearing for his life, Pietro subsequently fled Rome.
- In the novelization of Brotherhood, Pietro's name is given as "Pietro Benintendi".
- The way in which Ezio carried Pietro away from the Passion play is an almost exact reenactment of Michelangelo's Pietà.
- If Ezio viewed Pietro in Eagle Vision, the fake crown of thorns he was wearing would turn gold.
- Pietro shares an almost identical clothing style to Micheletto.