A condottierro and Lord of Fossombrome
an Italian condottiero, a member of the Malatesta family of Romagna. He is also known as Malatesta da Cesena, a city he had inherited in 1385 from his father, Galeotto, together with Cervia and Bertinoro. In 1388 he was also recognized lord of Fossombrone.
In 1397 he fought for the Bolognesi, who sent him with 200 knights to support the Florentines against Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. He pushed back Alberico da Barbiano’s troops, and then moved to the defence of Mantua; he was however defeated by Jacopo dal Verme, who captured the city. The following year he sided with Braccio da Montone, who was leading a party of exiles from Perugia, in the attempt to retake Mantua, which was now under Biordo dei Michelotti; Biordo hired him for some operations in the Val Nocera.
In 1398 Malatesta was made Senator of Rome by Pope Boniface IX, a position he held for some one year driving some attacks on the Colonna family’s lands. In 1399, as the Ghibelline party in the city had organized a plot against him, he confiscated their lands, including Verucchio. In 1402, together with his brother Pandolfo, he went into the service of Galeazzo Maria Visconti, fighting in the expedition against Bologna and in the victorious battle of Casalecchio. After the duke’s death, he was hired again by the pope, and in 1403 he was able to expel the Visconti from Bologna, capturing a large booty in the following campaigns in the neighborhood.