The House of Malatesta was an Italian family that ruled over Rimini from 1295 until 1500, as well as (in different periods) other lands and towns in Romagna.
Malatesta da Verucchio (d. 1312), a Guelph leader, became podestà (chief magistrate) of Rimini in 1239 and made himself sole master of the city after the expulsion of the family's Ghibelline rivals, the Parcitadi, in 1295.
His hunchback son Giovanni Malatesta is chiefly famous because he murdered his wife Francesca da Polenta and younger brother Paolo in 1285, having discovered them in adultery, and the murder is recorded in Dante's Inferno.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Malatestas ruled over a number of cities in the Romagna and the Marche, including Pesaro, Fano, Cesena, Fossombrone and Cervia.
Several Malatestas were condottieri at the service of various Italian states. The most famous was Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who was engaged in conflict with the papacy over territorial claims. His grandson Pandolfo was eventually expelled from Rimini in 1500 by Cesare Borgia and the city was finally incorporated in the Papal States in 1528, after the last failed attempt of Pandolfo's son, Sigismondo.