Eleonora di Toledo was a Spanish woman, daughter of Don Pedro di Toledo, viceroi of Naples. In 1539 she became the wife of Cosimo 1° De’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and their marriage was one of the great love stories of the Renaissance. During the Middle Age and the Renaissance rich families used to arrange pre-defined weddings for political alliances, and also their wedding was a pre-defined one, but they fell in love! Eleonora was Cosimo’s costant companion and she had the ability to handle stately affairs on her own. In this portrait by Bronzino on display at the Uffizi Gallery, she is with her son Giovanni, who has a full face and shining complexion. She wears a typical pearl hairnet and an elegant brocade dress with pomegranates, symbols of fertility: in fact she gave birth to eleven children.

The Duchess of Toledo died in 1562 together with her sons Garcia and Giovanni during a trip in the South of Tuscany (Maremma) due to malarial fevers,Eleonoraditoledo