And it wasn’t even a cool man. It was Ridolfo Vannitelli, her son’s tutor.
He claimed that she practiced magic in her home, and turned her into the Inquisition. This was, of course, nonsense, but the 16th century was a very bad time to be accused of being a witch.
Though better to be accused of being one in Venice than almost anyplace else! The amount of torture inflicted on the accused was severely limited, and while in many places victims of the Inquisition were burnt at the stake, in Venice that punishment only applied to people unwilling to repent or those that had been previously accused and relapsed. The Italian Inquisition favored milder punishments, like fines or forcing those found guilty to wear a penitential garment.
The penitential garment would have really cramped Franco’s breast-exposing style.
Domenico Venier paid for Veronica Franco’s defense, and the charge was quickly found to be without merit. Again, it is pretty great that this happened in Italy. However, Veronica Franco quickly lost all of her patrons as a result of the scandal. And then the plague swept through Venice in 1577.
In her will, towards the end of her life, it is noted that she was living in one of the areas of Venice where many of the poorest courtesans ended their lives. She died at the age of 45.