Stefano Benincasa

Stefano was Catherine’s older brother, and part of the trio who inherited her father’s shop. The three brothers, Benincasa, Bartolomeo and Stefano, inherited their father’s wool shop after he died. In 1368 the three brothers were elected to the Defensores (protectors) but did not hold that position for a full year according to Sienese documents. In 1370 after the Dodici fell from power they applied for Florentine citizenship and opened up a shop. The Benincasa family ran into serious financial troubles, in 1373 they sold all their properties in Siena. Furthermore, according to Suzanne Noffke the Florentine merchants, “petitioned the Commune of Siena to force Benincasa, Bartolomeo, and Stefano’s heirs to pay an outstanding debt.”1It is clear after the Dodici fell, whom the Benincasa family was aligned with, their standing in the community fell drastically, Catherine aside. It is an interesting dynamic to unfold, the men in the Benincasa family become discredited, Catherine remains the golden child of Siena and often brought in to save the city. Stefano died between the years 1370-1373 while the brothers were in Florence.2