In Modena Duke Francis, ambitious of enlarging his territories, coquetted with the Carbonari of Paris, and opened indirect negotiations with Menotti, the revolutionary leader in his state, believing that he might assist him in his plans.
Menotti, for his part, conceived the idea of a united Italian state under the duke.
A rising was organized for February 1831; but Francis got wind of it, and, repenting of his dangerous dallying with revolution, arrested Menotti and fled to Austrian territory with his prisoner.
On which the Italian revolutionists had built their hopes; the Austrians intervened unhindered; the old governments were re-established in Parma, Modena and Romagna; and Menotti and many other patriots were hanged.
Following the advice of his friend the Count Arese and of Menotti, he and his brother were among the revolutionaries who in February 1831 attempted a rising in Romagna and the expulsion of the pope from Rome.
During the campaign he met his wife, Anita, who became his inseparable companion and mother of three children, Anita, Ricciotti and Menotti.