Fra Diavolo frä dēä´vōlō [key] [Ital.,=friar devil], 1771–1806, Italian bandit and soldier, whose real name was Michele Pezza. He entered the service of the king of Naples in 1798 and with Cardinal Ruffo resisted the French invasion (1799) of the kingdom. He was captured (1806) and hanged by the French. The plot of Auber's opera Fra Diavolo (libretto by Scribe) is in no respect historical.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies