Ferdinando d’Acuňa was born in Madrid in 1453 to the family of the Counts of Buendia, originally from the Spanish region of Castile.
In 1488, at only thirty-five years old, D’Acuňa was appointed governor of Sicily by Ferdinand II of Aragon. He proved to be an excellent administrator and his subjects were satisfied with his politics. His first action was to try his predecessor, who was detested for his terrible administration.
Ferdinando had a perfect understanding of his role as mediator between the needs of the Sicilians and the Spanish sovereign.