The Duke of Urbino came to Florence, lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and he was received with honour. And on the 29th he left for Milan, to take up his post as _Capitano generale_, stopping at Ferrara where Signor Roberto was. There they besieged a fort called Ficheruolo till the 1st June.(1)
And in these days the Duke of Calabria on the other hand was besieging Ostia, near Rome; and on the 10th June it was said that he had taken it, but this was not true. He sacked Corneto,(2) however. The Sienese now recalled some of their exiles.
> (1) This is not correct; see note to 2nd July.
> (2) These are all facts relating to the war which had lately broken out between the Venetians and the Pope on the one hand, and the Florentines, Milan, and Naples on the other. Federigo, Duke of Urbino, was _Capitano generale_, and Commander of the League against Venice, and Roberto di Sanseverino was in the service of the latter.
We heard that a monster had been born at Venice; its mouth was split up to the nose, and one eye was by the nose and the other behind the ear; the face was cracked all over, as if it had been hacked with a knife, and on the forehead was a horn. It lived three or four days only; for they cut off the horn, and it died directly. They say that the lower parts of its body were very strange, and it had an animal's tail. And another was born at Padua, on Good Friday, that had two heads, and two hands on each arm. This one also lived two or three days; one on the heads died first, and when it was cut off, the other did not live much longer. Besides the above cases, a woman of sixty gave birth to three children at once. All these strange things happened in Venetia within a few days of each other. The letter described the facts exactly as I have set them down, and was sent to the bank of Tanai de' Nerli. I copied it, and the facts are true. Such signs signify great trouble in the city where they take place.
Michelangelo flees Florence, abandoning his post as military engineer in charge of the city's fortifications. A letter from Michelangelo to his friend Battista della Palla on the 25th of September 1529 makes clear his reasons:
> Battista, dearest friend, I left Florence, as I think you know, meaning to go to France. When I reached Venice, I inquired about the road, and they told me I should have pass through German territory, and that he journey is both perilous and difficult. Therefore I thought it well to ask you, at your pleasure, whether you are still inclined to go, and to beg you; and so I entreat you, let me know, and say where you want me to wait for you, and we will travel together. I left home without speaking to any of my friends, and in great confusion. You know that I wanted in any case to go to France, and often asked for leave, but did not get it. Nevertheless I was quite resolved, and without any sort of fear, to see the end of the war out first. But on Tuesday morning, September 21, a certain person came out by the gate at S. Niccolo, where I was attending to the bastions, and whispered in my ear that, if I meant to save my life, I must not stay at Florence. He accompanied me home, dined there, brought me horses, and never left my side till he got me outside the city, declaring that this was my salvation. Whether God or the devil was the man, I do not know.
Titian moves his two boys and infant daughter to a new home, and convinces his sister Orsa to come from Cadore and take charge of the household. The mansion, difficult to find now, is in the Biri Grande, then a fashionable suburb, at the extreme end of Venice, on the sea, with beautiful gardens and a view towards Murano.