Scaliger (della Scala) Verona

Scaliger (Della Scala) Verona

The Ghibelline family of Scaliger (or della Scala) appealed politically in the second half of the XIII century, when the powerful Romano family was exterminated, which through its Ezzelino III for over thirty years had dominated especially on the east shore of the lake and brought Verona from Commune to Signoria.

Scaliger (della Scala) Verona: Already in 1180 there was an Arduino Della Scala “cloth merchant” who had two sons: Leonardino and Balduino from which the scaliger dynasty began; his son Jacopino, had as sons: Manfredo from Margherita Giustiniani; Leonardino (Mastiff I), Alberto, Bocca and Guido by Elisa Superbi. Wise merchant and politician, he became Imperial vicar of Ostiglia and podestà of Cerea.

Leonardino of Scala called Mastiff I ( …. – October 17, 1277), sons: Niccolò (legitimate), Guido, Pietro, Ardito, Francesco, Verde. Disappeared Ezzelino III (1259) the Common of Verona hastens to elect Mastiff I as mayor, who will be captain of the people in 1260 and captain of the House of Merchants from 1261 to 1269. Auspicious in politics, he holds the merchant class (wealthy and soldiers) and after a short period of time leaves the podestas office to the Venetian Andrea Zeno, thus capturing the favors of Venice and the permission to trade on the Adige river for Verona merchants; it is due to him the complete renovation and fortification of the Sirmione castle. In 1265 he conquered Trento by expelling the prince bishop and in 1266 the Vicenza province; in 1269 the emperor Corradino of Svevia comes in Italy and Mastino I welcomed him and supported him militarily, but Pope Clement IV excommunicated, in addition to the emperor, also Verona and the Ghibellines all. In the same year, by the will of the bishop of Verona friar Timor and the court of the Inquisition, Mastino I captures and imprisones more than two hundred Cathars bishops and  priests in Sirmione; will be with Alberto that 166 of them will be killed in the arena (Cathars massacre), thus leading to the dissolution of excommunication and reconciliation with pope Nicolò IV. In 1274 he succeeded in electing Podestà in Mantua (Guelph town, where often the refugees from Verona, his brother Alberto, thus securing a few years of peace and flourishing trade between the two cities. Mastino I was killed on October 17, 1277 by a conspiracy of guelphs and buried in the Scaligera Arches in Verona, Scaliger’s family tomb.

Alberto della Scala (1245? – september 3, 1301), married with Verde of Salizzole, sons: Costanza,

Bartolomeo, Barbara, Alboino, Cangrande, Caterina. Lord of Verona from 1277 to 1301; known about the conspiracy against his brother, returned to Verona from Mantua and immediately avenged the assassins, and also promoted new very strict statutes. Brother’s killing gave motivation to people’s eyes to focus even more power in his hands, thus completing the transformation into lordship, thus consolidating the power of the scaliger family and its riches, while the people now subjected were overall satisfied. In 1297 he entrusted to his son Bartholomew I, who became captain, the campaign against the bishop of Trento, in support of his friends Castelbarco; in 1299 he entrusted the campaign against Mantua. Alberto died in 1301 and buried in the Scaligera Arches in Verona, Scaliger’s family tomb; Its great heritage is equally divided among the three children

In 1294 Costance of Scala (1263-1306), daughter of Alberto and Verde of Salizzole, who was wife to Orbizzo II d’Este, lord of Ferrara, was expelled from Azzo VIII and Francesco d’Este after the killing of father; Alberto then declares war to the Este and, allied with Padua, has an overwhelming victory. Constance will then come to wife in 1299 to Guido Bonacolsi, Lord of Mantua; Leading to a new alliance that will also last with Cangrande I and Rinaldo Bonacolsi.

Bartholomew I of Scala (… – march 7, 1304), married to Constance of Antioch in 1291 from which had Francesco; second wife Onesta of the Savoy Counts. Lord of Verona from 1301 to 1304, already captain in 1290, are entrusted with two important military campaigns, the one against the bishop of Trento in 1297 in defense of Castelbarco and the one against Mantua in 1299; comes victorious from both. At the death of his father Alboino in 1301, he became a lord of Verona and guardian of the two brothers Alboino and Cangrande. In the same year, anticipating problems with the new emperor and vicar imperial Milan Matteo Visconti, he hastened to shake peace with the bishop of Trento and sealed the alliance with the Lord of Piacenza (guelf city) in 1302, thus avoiding temporarily , future problems with Visconti. For some months between 1303 and 1304, Dante Alighieri hosts, but to his death the Poet must leave because he was not in good relationship with Alboino. After the alliance with Piacenza and peace with Trento, the rest of his life lived in peace; died in 1304 and buried in the Scaliger Arches in Verona, Scaliger family tomb.

Alboino of Scala ( … – november 29, 1311), sons from Caterina Visconti: Verde (wife to Ugolino Gonzaga), Omelia; from Beatrice of Correggio: Mastiff II, Albert II, Alboina, Peter (natural). Lord of Verona from 1304 to 1311, followed by his brother Bartholomew, he had the ability to greatly enlarge the family’s assets by “confusing” them with those of the City of Verona; militarily his intent was to take possession of Brescia and to eliminate the Guelph rival Este family from Ferrara; for this purpose he allied with the bishop of Brescia and with Mantua, Parma and Cremona, thus succeeding in arriving at the peace of 1308 with Ferrara. In the same year, he was joined to power by his brother Cangrande; together they invited the new Emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg to Verona, who, after some vicissitudes, elect them imperial vicars, position, on the contrary, with a heavy financial commitment. Alboino died in 1311 during the siege of Brescia at the side of Henry VII.

Can Francesco of Scala called Cangrande (march 9, 1291 – july 22, 1329), Perhaps the most famous of the scaliger, had eight children but not legitimate. Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1311 with his brother

Alboino, from 1312 to 1329 alone; Imperial Vicar of Henry VII, Captain of the Ghibellines of Lombardy. He was a talented commander, politician, administrator and patron (he also hosted his friend Dante Alighieri and his children, so that the Poet composed a great deal of the “Paradise” during his stay in Verona and included in the same Cangrande). In the 1305 war, in league with Brescia, Mantua, and later also Parma, Modena, Reggio, Ravenna against Azzo VIII d’Este, Guelph Lord of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio in Emilia; after some events from the swinging fate Azzo dies and there is a disorder inside the family of Este between his son Folco and his brother Francesco on the fate of the lordship, thus canceling the interests of war and the importance of Ferrara as guelph. In 1308, allied to Mantua, Ottone III of Carinthia and Castelbarco, fought against the Guelph faction of Parma, eventually become Ghibellines both Parma and Brescia. In 1311 he became vicar of Vicenza and in 1312, on an excuse, declares war to Padua, then much wealthier and stronger city of Verona; after alternate victories, Cangrande succeeds in taking Vicenza definitively and concluding peace with Padua in 1314. Various times Cangrande will move war against Padua, in 1312, in 1317 with at his side Uguccione della Faggiola also conquers Ghedi, Montichiari and Lonato (during which dies the Count of Sambonifacio, old enemy of the scaliger family exiled from Verona), in 1319 and finally in 1328, with the participation of the nephew Mastiff II who will marry in November with Taddea Carrara. In 1328 he sustained a coup d’etat in Mantua, where his old ally Rinaldo Bonacolsi lost his life and the Gonzaga with Ludovico I in 1329 came to power, but in the same year Cangrande succeeded in electing as imperial vicar in Mantua with the intent of take the city. In the same year, thanks to a politically favorable moment, he managed to quickly take possession of Treviso but, during his brief stay in the city, dies on July 22, 1329, perhaps poisoning. The burial occurred in Verona but not in the predestined sarcophagus (occupied by Albert I) but in another commissioned for the occurrence always located outside the same church of the Arche Scaligere in Verona, Scaliger family tomb.

Albert II of Scala (1306 – September 13, 1352), He had no legitimate sons, but two natural daughters. Lord of Verona from 1329 to 1352. In 1335 he took Parma and Reggio, the latter handed it to the Gonzaga.

Mastiff II della Scala (1308 – Juny 3, 1351), Children from the wife Taddea of Carrara: Cangrande II, Cansignorio, Paolo Alboino, Regina, Altaluna, Verde, Giovanni. Lord of Verona with his brother

Albert II from 1329 to 1351. In 1332 he conquered Brescia, in 1335 Parma and Lucca. His conquest policy led to the emergence of an anti-Verona league with the participation of all the lords of northern Italy. In particular he had against Visconti, because he harbored Lodrisio Visconti, uncle of Azzone, who tried with a conspiracy to take the power; the same will create the Company of St. George, with whom he raided and plundered in northern Italy until 1339, when he was defeated by the Visconti army. In 1338 killed his own fist his uncle Bartholomew, Bishop of Verona. At the end, around 1339, surrounded by the anti-Verona league and after some defeats, must compromise with its opponents thanks also to the mediation of Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria; his territories are reduced to Verona and Vicenza, the rest is divided among its opponents. He died in 1351 and was deposed in the Scaliger Arches in Verona, Scaliger’s family tomb.

Cangrande II of Scala (June 7, 1332 – December 14, 1359), wife Elisabetta of Baviera (son

of emperor Luis IV), unlawful children: Beatrice, Francesca, Tebaldo, Guglielmo, Giordana, Taddea, Cagnola, Fregnano. Lord of Verona from 1351 to 1359. Also called “Can Rabbioso” (angry dog) for the system with which he accumulated riches at the expense of the city, calling for the protection of mercenaries; was eliminated by his brother Cansignorio.



Cansignorio of Scala (March 5, 1340 – October 18, 1375), wife Agnese of Durazzo, sons: Tarsia

(legitimate), Antonio, Bartolomeo, Lucia. Lord of Verona from 1359 to 1375 with his brother Paolo Alboino. Its moderate policy facilitates the growth of Verona and enriches it with some buildings such as a bridge over the Adige and Torre del Gradello, the first in Italy with a clock. On the deathbed commissioned the killing of his brother Paolo Alboino (imprisoned in 1365) to secure the power of his sons Bartholomew II and Antonio. He died in 1375 and is buried in the Scaliger Arches in Verona, the family tomb of the Scaliger.


Paolo Alboino of Scala (1343 – October 16, 1375), lord of Verona since 1351 with the brothers Cangrande II and Cansignorio, from 1359 to 1375 with Cansignorio. On February 20, 1365, he was arrested and imprisoned in Peschiera accused of conspiracy, in 1375 he was killed by his brother.

Antony of Scala (1363 – August 5, 1388), sons: Canfrancesco and Polissena; wife Samaritana of Polenta (son of Guido III, lord of Ravenna). Lord of Verona from 1375 to 1380 with his brother Bartholomew II, from 1381 to 1387 alone, deposed by Gian Galeazzo Visconti also for the will of the people of Verona, impoverished by his policy. In the pursuit of allies to regain power, he ends up collecting an army in Tuscany, but as he goes to Verona he dies “mysteriously” at Faenza. It is his turn to restore the castle of Torri del Benaco in 1383.