|The destiny of Norman Italy|
From the Aragonese until the end of independence: the Spanish viceroyalty
In 1495, the duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro demanded the king of France Charles VIII to come to Italy. He entered Naples after overcoming the weak resistance of Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as (‘Ferandino’) – the small Ferdinand, who fled to Sicily. A league was formed in March 1496 consisting of Pope Alexander VI, the Hapsburgs, Spain, Venice and Milan, with the aim of expulsing the French from Italy. Fearing that his way home would be blocked, Charles VIII left Naples leaving a garrison, and headed to the north to arrive back in France. Ferdinand II returned to Naples aided by a Spanish fleet and obtained the surrender of the French garrison. But the Franco-Spanish conflict in southern Italy continued. In April 1503, French defeats in Seminara, and Cerignola in Apulia signalled the success of the Spanish crown over the kingdom of Naples.
The kingdom that belonged to the Normans was henceforth confided to a vice-roy and integrated into the empire of Charles Quint (1500-1558), who held the Spanish and Holy German Roman Empire crowns. The situation was finally concluded by the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, on 3 April 1559 with the agreement made between Henry II, king of France and Philip II of Spain, ending the last pretensions of French influence in Italy.