Gabrielli (Gabrielli di Gubbio)
Some historians trace their origins back to the Roman age, and claim they descend from the emperor Caracalla, however the first historical documents mentioning the family appear in the 10th century only, when Cante Gabrielli was awarded by Pope Stephen VII (according to some genealogists a family member himself), a few castles in central Italy, and especially the castle at Luceoli, which was renamed Cantiano (i.e. belonging to Cante) after him.
The family grew in power and many of its members had remarkable lives:
- Forte Gabrielli was a hermit in the mountains around Gubbio, and later on joined the Benedectines at Fonte Avellana. He died on 9 May 1040 and was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV on 17 March 1756. His body is still exposed in the Cathedral of Gubbio.
- Saint Rodolfo Gabrielli was born in 1034; in 1051 he bequeathed his castle at Camporeggiano to Saint Peter Damian and became a Benedictine monk at the Monastery of Fonte Avellana. He was appointed bishop of Gubbio in 1061 and died on 17 October 1064. He was later canonized. Saint Peter Damian described Rodolfo's life in his Vita Sancti Rodulphi Episcopi Eugubini (Life of St Rudolph Bishop of Gubbio).
- His brother Pietro Gabrielli was also beatified.
- Girolamo Gabrielli was the leader of 1000 knights during the First Crusade. According to an undocumented tradition he was the first Crusader to enter the Holy Sepulchre when Jerusalem was seized (1099).
- Cante Gabrielli was Commander in Chief of the Guelph League in Central Italy and Podestà (Lord-Mayor) of Florence. He condemned Dante Alighieri, the famous poet, for barratry, and exiled him from Florence. Dante took vengeance on Cante by giving the allusive name of Rubicante to the furious devil that Dante himself encounters in the Divine Comedy, in the bolgia of barratry (cantos XXI and XXII). Giosuè Carducci, the famous Italian poet and Nobel Prize winner in 1906, also dedicated a sonnet to Cante Gabrielli.
- Blessed Castora Gabrielli joined the Franciscan order as a tertiary. She died on 14 June 1391 and was later beatified.
- Giovanni Gabrielli, count of Borgovalle was lord of Gubbio from 1350 to 1354.
- Paolo Gabrielli was bishop of Lucca from 1374 to 1380. He died in Perugia and was buried in the cathedral of that city.
- Gabriello Gabrielli was lord and bishop of Gubbio from 1381 to 1384.
- Cecciolo Gabrielli, self-styled Duca di Gubbio, tried without success to reconquer the city.
- Gabriele Gabrielli (1445-1511), called Il Cardinal d'Urbino (the Cardinal of Urbino), was bishop of Urbino from 1504 until his death. He was created Cardinal in 1505, and died in the Apostolic Palace in Rome.
- Francesco Gabrielli, count of Baccaresca, served as General of Italian troops during the Portugal war and died at the battle of Alcazarquivir in 1578.
- Giulio Gabrielli the Elder (1604-1677) was created Cardinal in 1641.
- Domenico Gabrielli (1651-1690) composer and virtuoso violoncello player.
- Giovanni Maria Gabrielli (1654-1711) was created Cardinal in 1699.
- Giulio Gabrielli the Younger (1746-1822) served as Cardinal Secretary of State from 26 March 1808 to 25 July 1814.
- Pompeo Gabrielli (1780-1861) was Minister of War in 1848, the first layman to sit in the Pontifical States' Government ever.
- Luigi Gabrielli (1790-1854) was a soldier and military writer.
- Rodolfo Gabrielli di Montevecchio (1802-1855), considered a hero of the Italian Risorgimento, fought in the First Independence War, distinguishing himself at Santa Lucia (1848) and Sforzesca (1849), where he commanded the Piemonte Reale Cavalleria regiment. Deployed in Crimea as a General of the Piedmont-Sardinia army, he was mortally wounded at Cernaia on 16 August 1855 and died two months later at the Balaclava hospital.
- Count Nicolò Gabrielli (1814-1891) was a well known musician at the court of the French Emperor Napoleon III.
The family divided over the centuries in many branches, the most famous of which was the one that settled in Rome and obtained the title of Prince of Prossedi. Two members of this branch married two princesses of the Bonaparte family. The line is currently continuing in the di Carpegna-Falconieri-Gabrielli family.
A branch that settled in Fano was styled Gabrielli-Wiseman, and was related to Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman. Another branch settled in Fano was styled Gabrielli di Montevecchio, and bears the titles of Duke and Count.The branch that settled in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies bears the title of Count Gabrielli and Baron of Quercita.
All the branches bear the title of Patrizio di Gubbio (Patrician of Gubbio).
- Francesco Sansovino, Della origine et de' fatti delle famiglie illustri di Italia. Venezia, Salicato, 1609
- G. B. di Crollalanza, Dizionario Storico-Blasonico, Pisa, 1886
- Vittorio Spreti, Enciclopedia Storico Nobiliare Italiana, Milano, 1928-35
- Libro d'Oro della Nobiltà Italiana, XXII edizione, Roma, 2000
- Annuario della Nobiltà Italiana, XXX edizione, 2006