Gerolama Orsini (1504–1590) sometimes Girolama Orsini was a member of the House of Orsini and the wife of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma. She was the Duchess of Parma by marriage.

Gerolama Orsini
Gerolama Orsini.jpg
Duchess consort of Parma
Tenure19 August 1545 – 10 September 1547
Rome, Papal States
Palazzo Farnese, Duchy of Parma
SpousePier Luigi Farnese
Cardinal Alessandro
Vittoria, Duchess of Urbino
Ottavio, Duke of Parma
Orazio, Duke of Castro
Cardinal Ranuccio
FatherLodovico Orsini
MotherGiulia Conti


Born in Rome, she was the daughter of Lodovico Orsini and Giulia Conti. In 1513 an engagement contract between Orsini and Pier Luigi Farnese was drawn up, and in 1519 the wedding celebrated at Valentano.[1] Her husband was the illegitimate son of Pope Paul III and Silvia Ruffino. The couple had five children three of which would have further progeny. Despite a loveless marriage, Gerolama remained a faithful, devoted wife, tolerating with dignity Pier Luigi's excesses, brutality, and extravagances.[1]

When Cardinal Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III in 1534 he made his son Pier Luigi captain-general of the Church and in 1537 duke of Castro and finally in 1545 Duke of Parma and Piacenza. He was murdered in 1547, and Gerolama outlived him by 43 years, dying at the Palazzo Farnese Piacenza in 1590.[1] She was buried at the Farnese crypt at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma.


  1. Alessandro Farnese (5 October 1520 – 2 March 1589) never married.
  2. Vittoria Farnese (1521 – 13 September 1602) married Guidobaldo della Rovere, Duke of Urbino and had issue.[1]
  3. Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma (9 October 1524 – 18 September 1586) married Margaret of Parma and had issue.
  4. Orazio Farnese, Duke of Castro (died 18 July 1558) married Diane de France no issue.
  5. Ranuccio Farnese (11 August 1530 – 1565) died unmarried.

Titles, styles, honours and armsEdit

Titles and styles from marriageEdit

  • 31 October 1537 – 16 September 1545 Her Highness the Duchess of Castro
  • 16 September 1545 – 10 September 1547 Her Highness the Duchess of Parma
  • 10 September 1547 – 1590 Her Highness the Dowager Duchess of Parma


  1. ^ a b c d van de Pas, Leo. "Gerolama Orsini". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2010.

See alsoEdit