We know of the beguine Angioletta and of a “squad of pious women (pie bizzoche)” because of a vile trial that took place on “die 15 mensis martis AD 1597“. The trial began following the discovery of the body of a newborn not far from the hermitage of Sant ‘Agostino. Angioletta, daughter of a farmer from Rignano Garganico (Foggia), and the other “pie bizzoche” * monthly went to pray in a nearby cave, near Stignano, and they had to be very close to the minor friars of Stignano. It was a common presumption that Angioletta was pregnant without being married. “The civil power not being able to strike the minor friars has unjustly blamed one of these “bizzoche” more easily guilty and accusing of witchcraft … Unfortunately Angioletta suffers a summary justice and is walled alive in a cave“(p.13).
Source : Gabriele Tardio, Donne eremite, bizzocche e monache di casa, Edizione SMiL, maggio 2007
* Bizzocca: term for beguine in central Italy