“Dissemi: Qui con più di mille giaccio:
qua dentro è ‘l secondo Federico,
e ‘l Cardinale; e delli altri mi taccio”.
(Inf., X, vv. 118-120)
The powerful Ghibelline family dominated the Mugello and the Apennines for a long time until the last quarter of the fourteenth century. To give the name to the family is Ubaldino, documented from 1098 to 1105, with which the prestige of the family grows inside and outside Florence. Very close to the lineage of Canossa, on the death of the Countess Matilde in 1115 they established themselves in Mugello, where they controlled numerous castles located in strategic places and the main communication routes between Tuscany and Romagna, which would later put them in contrast with Florence.
At the end of the 12th century the family divides into three branches: Galliano, Senni and Montaccianico, the main one, whose possessions will extend towards the Senio valley, Romagna, Umbria and Montefeltro, where there are still descendants of the dynasty.
The most famous personalities of the family, mentioned by Dante in the Comedy, belonged to the Montaccianico branch: Cardinal Ottaviano and his elder brother Ubaldino della Pila and his son Ruggieri, archbishop of Pisa from 1278 to 1295 who sentenced Count Ugolino della Gherardesca to death ( Inf. XXXIII); Ugolin d’Azzo or Ugolino da Senni nephew of the aforementioned brothers (Purg. XIV) Ubaldino della Pila and (Purg. XXIV), elder brother of the Cardinal and father of Ruggieri.
Photo credits: Cavaliere degli Ubaldini_MuFiS – Museo del Figurino Storico di Calenzano (FI)