Paola Malatesta ( Pesaro , 1393 - Mantua , 28 February 1449 ) was an Italian noblewoman.
She was the daughter of Malatesta IV Malatesta, leader and lord of Pesaro and Fossombrone and Elizabeth da Varano (1367-1405).
On 22 August 1409 she married in Pesaro to Gianfrancesco Gonzaga , V Captain of the people of Mantua. Paola had six children and led to the genetic defect of the Gonzaga hump, which was also transmitted to subsequent generations. She had a very sharp intellect and played a major role in the Gonzaga court. She built around 1420 the church with the convent of Santa Paula in Mantua, built for the Franciscan Poor Clares in which she retired after the death of her husband in 1444.
She died in Mantua in 1449 in the monastery of Santa Paula and was buried in the monastic habit as she prepared.
Paola and Gianfrancesco had six children:
Ludwig (1412 - 1478), said the Turkish, became Marquis of Mantua from 1444 ;
Carlo († 1456), husband of Lucy d'Este ;
Alexander (1415-1466), lord of Castel Goffredo , married Agnese da Montefeltro ;
Margaret († 1439), became Marquise de Ferrara married Leonello d'Este ;
Gianlucido (1421 - 1448), a law student at Pavia, and prothonotary apostolic;
Cecilia (1425-1451) nun in the convent of Santa Chiara in Mantua.