On the death of Pope Paul III, the duchy was recognized to Ottavio, son of Pier Luigi and Girolama Orsini. The state became more stable; Piacenza was returned to the Farnese and Parma became the capital and residence of the court. From the marriage to Margherita of Austria, illegitimate daughter of the Emperor Charles V, Alessandro was born in 1545; as a young child he followed his mother who was appointed governor of Flanders, he lived at the court in Madrid and became the most important ‘condottiero’ of his time. In 1565 he married Maria d’Aviz, heiress to the throne of Portugal, and moved to Parma where, however, he was rarely present due to impelling military committements such as the battle of Lepanto in 1571 against the Turks, and the siege of Antwerp in 1585. On his death in 1592, the thirty year government of his heir Ranuccio I was characterized by the reorganization of the State wich was, however, thwarted by courtiers’ scheming. Subject to irascibility, he feared a plot against himself in 1612 and condemned to death the vassals who were presumed to be responsible, appropriating their goods and properties. A period of isolation followed this extraordinary event wich the Duke attempted to overcome through the marriage of his son Odoardo to a Medici heiress, the celebration for wich the Farnese Theatre was built.