Malatesta III Malatesta, known as Malatesta Antico, but better known as Guastafamiglia, was an Italian condottiere and captain of fortune, lord of Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Cattolica, Fossombrone, Gradara, Jesi, Osimo, Pesaro, Recanati and Rimini. He was born of Pandolfo I and a certain Taddea, whose family is unknown. The Guastafamiglia joined in marriage to Costanza Ondedei, with whom he had seven children.
Together with his father Pandolfo, in 1320 he participated in the "crusade" declared by Pope John XXII against Federico da Montefeltro in Urbino, where he became the protagonist of massacres and devastations. Later he went to Ravenna, and in 1322 he helped Ostasio I da Polenta to kill his cousin, Archbishop Rinaldo da Polenta, in order to conquer the city.
In 1325 he was at the service of the papal legate Bertrando del Poggetto against the Visconti and the Gonzagas, from whom he was defeated and taken prisoner in Monteveglio. Released in 1326, he led a first battle against Nolfo da Montefeltro and then against Ramberto Malatesta. The latter was killed in 1330 by his cousin Malatestino Novello.
On 14 April 1333 he fought in Ferrara against the Estensi led by Rinaldo d'Este. Defeated by his adversaries, he was taken prisoner, but was then freed because he sided against the popes. He attacked and defeated the latter and entered Rimini. In 1334, thanks to the support of the cardinal of Poggetto he obtained dominion over Rimini with his brother Galeotto, ousting their cousin Ferrantino Novello.
In March 1336 he was again at war against Ferrantino Malatesta, an ally of the Church and the Montefeltro, who attacked Rimini. The battle ended three months later with a truce with Ferrantino Novello, on mediation of Ostasio da Polenta.
In February 1342 he was hired by Florence in war against Pisa. The Florentines entrusted him with the command of their army consisting of 200 knights, to which were added other knights, infantrymen, crossbowmen and soldiers provided by other municipalities, coming to form a contingent of about 12,000 units. The Malatesta first aimed at Lucca besieged by its enemies, rather than attacking the city of Pisa and this was a determining error in the fate of the conflict, because after five months of battle, the Lucca surrendered to the Pisan troops and this was a serious failure. The Florentines fired him and in his place called Gualtieri di Brienne.
Between 1347 and 1348, peace was achieved with the Pope, and his family obtained territories: his brother Galeotto was granted Fano, the Malatesta was given Rimini, while his sons Pandolfo and Ungaro were entrusted with the government of Pesaro. However, their hesitant and traitorous attitude was once again evident when King Louis I of Hungary descended into Italy for his wars against Naples and Venice. When the Holy See moved to Avignon, Guastafamiglia supported the Ghibellines and obtained the title of imperial vicar. Shortly thereafter he managed to take possession of Ancona, Jesi, Ascoli Piceno and Senigallia. He also tore his cousin Ferrantino Novello over the domain of Mondaino, but nevertheless he was definitively reconciled.
In 1352, it passed to the service of the kingdom of Naples supported by Giovanna d'Angiò with her husband Luigi of Taranto. At the head of 300 riders and 400 infantrymen descended with his brother Galeotto in Campania, where he faced the leader Corrado Lupo and the Great Company led by Fra 'Moriale, reporting a series of victories and forcing the enemies to surrender. The following year, however, the company of Fra 'Moriale avenged the defeat suffered. He went up in the Marches, putting himself at the service of Gentile da Mogliano, lord of Fermo, a city besieged by the two Malatesta brothers. The Moriale, with its venturieri, attacked and devastated all the dominions of the Malatesta in Romagna and Marche. The Guastafamiglia to stop the violence paid a fee of 40 thousand florins to the French leader.
At the beginning of 1355 Malatesta was excommunicated and its domains suffered another attack, this time by the papal troops under Egidio Albornoz. The war lasted about four months, Malatesta lost many territories and was forced to surrender. Following the defeat, he agreed with the Albornoz and went to the service of the Church. Pope Innocent VI gave him the title of vicar of the Holy See and in exchange Malatesta ceded many of his territories, but he managed to keep the fiefs of Rimini, Fano and Fossombrone.
The Ordelaffi fought first in 1356, helped by the Great Company led by Count Lando to defeat his troops, then against the Manfred, and in 1359 against the Visconti lords of Bologna.
Nella primavera del 1363 si recò ad Avignone, in cui comunicò al papa la sua decisione di ritirarsi da governatore dei suoi comuni e dalla vita militare. Affidò la signoria di Rimini al fratello Galeotto, al figlio Pandolfo venne mantenuto il governo di Pesaro, mentre al figlio Ungaro venne affidato il comando delle sue truppe.
Morì a Rimini il 27 agosto 1364.