|The destiny of Norman Italy|
From the Swabians to the Angevins
On the death of Frederick II in 1250, his second son and heir Conrad IV settled in Germany, leaving the custody of the kingdom of Sicily to his half-brother Manfred of Swabia, prince of Tarente, the illegitimate son of Frederick II. On the death of his brother Conrad IV (1254), Manfred assumed the regency, was then crowned, thus depriving the crown from his nephew Conrad V.
But the great enemy of the Hohenstaufen Swabian dynasty was still the Pope. Manfred was unsuccessful in his policy of rapprochement with the Holy See, which increasingly sought the support of the communes in northern Italy and the kingdom of France. In fact, the Pope asked the king of France Saint Louis, to send an expedition against the partisans of the Hohenstaufen, the Ghibellines, and particularly against the usurper Manfred.
In 1266 the king of France’s brother, Charles of France, count of Anjou, arrived in southern Italy and defeated Manfred near Benevento. The kingdom was ripe for the conquering Angevins.