Astorre Manfredi (c. 1345 – November 28, 1405) was an
condottiero. He was the son of
Giovanni Manfredi, who had been lord of
Emilia-Romagna) and other castles in the area before the
Papal reconquest. Astorre lived for a while in Pistoia after his father had lost his last possession in Romagna; three years after the latter's death, in 1375, he managed to recover Granarolo.
In 1377, he conquered back Faenza, then occupied by the
Este, with the help of his brother Francesco and the
Ordelaffis, Lords of
Forlì. To obtain the money to keep his seignory, he formed a Compagnia di Ventura (mercenary band), called
Compagnia della Stella (Company of the Star). He was hired by
Barnabò Visconti to attack
Genoa, but when that city paid him 13,000
florins, he moved back; when he tried again to assault the city, his troops were ambushed in the Bisagno valley and badly defeated. Astorre himself barely escaped being taken prisoner.
In the meantime, his brother Francesco has attempted to attain the power in Faenza, and Astorre imprisoned him in the castle of Solarolo. Later, Astorre was at the service of Bologna in the war against the
Visconti. His deeds gained him the praise of the Bolognesi, who gave him the palace in the city that still bears his name.
Battle of Portomaggiore (April 16, 1395), he defeated the
Ferrarese rebel Azzo d'Este, which he kept as a prisoner in Faenza in the following year. His excessive pretenses, however, pushed
Niccolò III d'Este,
lord of Ferrara, to capture his son Gian Galeazzo, who was later exchange with Azzo.
In 1400, the possession of the castle of Solarolo caused a war against
Giovanni I Bentivoglio, Papal vicar of
Bologna, who had hired the famous
Alberico da Barbiano. The outnumbered Astorre could only get help from the Pope and, in 1404, Faenza and all his territories were returned to the Papal States. After a period as condottiero under the Papal banners, he was captured when allegedly planning to regain Faenza through a revolt. He was condemned to death and executed in the main square of his city in 1405.