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Sacchetti family

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Coat of arms of the Sacchetti

The Sacchetti family is an Italian noble family originating in Tuscany, now resident in Rome, whose earliest documented member Merlo lived during the late 10th and early 11th centuries.[1] The name of the family is derived from one or more members known as Sacchetto. According to Ugolino di Vieri (1438–1516),"nobile Sacchetti genus est, moenia primus romanus sangius".

In the 19th century, the Sacchetti inherited the title of Prince of Palestrina and permission to use the Barberini name.


Genealogy of the Sacchetti family 10th–17th centuries. Right Roman Branch: Marquises of Castel Romano and origins of the Colonna-Barberini-Sacchetti, Princes of Palestrina. LEFT: The Neapolitan Branch: In service to the Norman and Angevin Kings of Naples in Puglia, Calabria and Abruzzo

The 17th century author, Eugenio Gamurrini in his Istoria genealogica delle famiglie nobili toscane et umbre (1668–1685) claimed with little evidence that this family, like many others in Florence, had roots in prominent Roman families. He claimed the family derived from the "gens Cornelia", one of the most distinguished families of the Roman Republic, from who arose in 485 BC the consul Servius Cornelius Cossus Maluginensis. According to Gamurrini the Sacchetti descend from the Cornelii Merulae branch.

The family was certainly well established in Florence during the 12th century. Dante Alighieri mentions the family in The Divine Comedy, Paradise Canto XVI in which Dante's great-grandfather, Cacciaguida degli Elisei (c.1098 – c. 1148), lists the ancient families of Florence[2] In The Inferno, Canto XXIX:1–36, Dante recounted meeting his father's first cousin, Geri del Bello. He had been condemned to the ninth chasm for his disputes with the Sacchetti, most likely Brodaio Sacchetti, consul in 1203. At the time of Dante's vision the feud had not been settled. The families were finally reconciled in 1342.

Tomb of Tommaso di Tommaso Sacchetti in transept of Santa Croce, Florence. Tomasso was married to Tancia, daughter of Palla Strozzi who was exiled by the Medici. Tomasso appears to have been the only son-in-law of Palla Strozzi not to have suffered under the Medici. However, his son Jacopo married Niccolosa di Giannozo di Giovanni Strozzi, whose name was removed from the borse of the Tre Maggiori in June 1455 as dangerous to the regime.[3]
The Poet Franco Sacchetti, born in Dubrovnik in Croatia the son of Benci di Uguccione Sacchetti, nicknamed "Buono", who was involved in the silver trade. Franco married three times. First to Maria Felice di Niccolò Strozzi, second to Ghita di Piero Gherardini and the third to Giovanna di Francesco di Santi Bruni[4]
Tomb of Benci di Uguccione Sacchetti, Santa Maria Novella. Benci from 1318–1341 was involved in the silver trade between Ragusa (today Dubrovnik) and Venice, as well as throughout the Balkans and Constantinople. He was the father of the poet Franco Sacchetti
The Tower of the Sacchetti. It was inserted in the defensive system around the Badia Fiorentina begun in the 12th century when the Sacchetti were allied to the degli Uberti. Intersection of Via dei Magazzini and the Via della Condotta, Florence.
The Church of San Apollinare (in shadow). From the 11th century until 1737, the church was patronized by the Sacchetti family. The church was rebuilt in the 14th century. In 1636 it was restored againby the Sacchetti: FAMILIAE DE SACCHETTIS / TEMPLVM HOC MVLTIS ANTE SAECVLIS / MAIORVM SVORVM STRAIGHT CONSTRVCTVM / AC B. APOLLINARY DICATVM / RESTVIT EXTORNAVITQVE / AN. SAL. / MDCXXVI. In fact, the mention that the same family originally built the church is groundless. When Florence became the capital of an Italian the church was demolished.


Pietro Da Cortona. Rape of the Sabine Women. The Sacchetti were among the most important patrons of the baroque era. Promoting or commissioning Pietro da Cortona, Andrea Sacchi, Nicolas Poussin, Simon Vouet, Guercino and Guido Reni. In the eighteenth century the collection was sold to Pope Benedict XIV, becoming one of the foundations of the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
Poussin La Victoire de Gédéon contre les Madianite 1625–1626 c. Commissioned by Marcello Sacchetti Rome, Pinacoteca Vaticana
The Villa Pigneto or Sacchetti, or also the Casino al Pigneto del Marchese Sacchetti was a villa in Rome, Italy, designed by the Baroque artist Pietro da Cortona, one of the artist's first works of architecture incorporating ideas found in Giacomo Vignola's Villa Giulia, the Cortile del Belvedere in the Vatican with statuary, in a style reminiscent of Palladio's Palazzo Chiericati (1550) at Vicenza. The villa had its contemporary critics; Bernini likened the structure to a "Christmas crib" (Presepio).
Villa Chigi-Sacchetti at Castel Fusano. Built in 1624-1629 for the Sacchetti family, close associates of Pope Urban VIII, and was the first architectural work of Pietro da Cortona.[1] The villa is now known as Villa Chigi since its acquisition by the Chigi family in the 18th century.

Florentine Branch


According to Ugolino di Vieri the Sacchetti were among the families forced to relocate from Fiesole to Florence after the former was conquered in 1125. In 1137, the earliest document asserts Sacchetto and his brother Bernardino di Bonizo di Merlo contract a tower association with the Uberti family.(Strozziane Uguccioni, August 11, 1137). It was the descendants of Sacchetto that would eventually use this as a patronymic and become known as the Sacchetti. In 1197, Brodaio di Sacchetto was elected to the Council of the Florentine Republic. and in 1202, Consul. While Cingisallo and Albizzo di Rovinoso are listed among the Anziani for the year 1200. When Florentine society was divided between the political factions of the Guelf and the Ghibellines most members of the family sided with the Guelf party. In 1260 the Teghiaio and Giambeto Sacchetti fought in the Battle of Montaperti against Ghibelline Siena while Gaglia di Upizzino Sacchetti was one of the men charged with defending the Carroccio, a wheeled altar which was the rallying point for a medieval army. The Sienese defeated the Florentines and the Sacchetti were exiled but later returned with the eventual defeat of the Sienese and the final expulsion of the Florentine Ghibellines. Despite the family's support for Guelf party, the Sacchetti were barred from public office in the Ordinances of Justice in 1293 and 1295. The ordinances were intended to exclude Ghibelline sympathizers and nobles with a reputation for their bellicose nature and a predilection for violence to impose their will. Eventually the family returned to the council and the highest offices of the Republic. Antonio di Forese Sacchetti was appointed by the Signoria on July 7, 1375 as one of the eight members of a committee, that became known as the "Otto dei Preti" (Eight Priests), to carry out the taxation of the clergy in Florence and Fiesole. The tax was a forced loan to pay for the nonaggression pact with the mercenary Sir John Hawkwood at a cost of 130,000 florins. Antonio with the other members were excommunicated by Pope Gregory XI.

Gregory XI excommunicated Antonio di Forese Sacchetti and the other the members of the committee of The Eight Priests on the March 31, 1376 .

The family has two main branches, one that remained in Florence up to the time of the hegemony of the Medici and relocated to Rome in the sixteenth century and the Neapolitan branch that went into the service of the Normans in southern Italy shortly after their forced transfer from Fiesole.

Pietro da Cortona – Battle of Alexander versus Darius. Begun in 1643 Commissioned by Alessandro Sacchetti and alludes to the patron's name and career in the Papal army. Collection: Capitoline Museums
Anima Beata or Blessed Soul is an abstract image depicting the soul ascending into heaven toward the divine light. Reni was another favorite of the Sacchetti family. Alessandro Sacchetti became his close friend and was in his care, taking the artist to various doctors during final illness. The Sacchetti Collection in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.


Neapolitan Branch


The Neapolitan branch descended from two brother, Lancillotto and Avellino di Sacchetto. Lancillotto's son Cesare was Bishop of Melfi. Ottone Sacchetti was the Latin Patriarch of Antioch. Avellino received privileges from the Norman King Roger II of Sicily and created Gran Giustiziere of the kingdom. Later generations of this line included Gezzolino di Simone di Avellino, created Baron of Alessano in 1173 by King William the Good. Gezzolino also held the baronages of Ceglia, Campia, Cavallino, Sellino, Ginosa, Castrignano, Levarano, Maladregno, Muflafia, Oira and Squinzano. Gezzolino's son Ludovcio was married to Emilia Acciaioli who bore him three sons: Angelo, Iacopo and Alberico, who was the Praetor of Tuscolano in 1224 for the Emperor Frederick II. Pietro Antonio di Agnelo, Knight of the Golden Spur, Governor of the city of L'Aquila for King Charles II of Anjou in 1285. Giovanni Pietro was theGran Giustiziere of Abruzzo in 1268. Lazzarino, the son of Pietro Antonio was appointed the Quartermaster General for Abruzzo by Charles II in 1299. Andrea Guido, nicknamed Guidotto was appointed as replacement Governor of Salerno by King Robert of Naples in 1338 due to the Governor being absent for war negotiations. Guidotto was married to Cecilia Brancacci. They had at least three sons: Carlo, Andrea and Filippo. Carlo, Baron of San Demetrio and Policastrello and his wife Isabella De Aloe contracted a marriage for his son Giromlamo to Laudomia de Tufo on 4 April 1412. Giromino and Laudomia de Tufo had two sons: Alfonso and Matteo. Queen Giovanna II appointed Alfonso a Governor in the province of Calabria Citra. Alfonso's son Giovanni Alfonsino was granted privileges by King Alfonso II in 1453. Pietro Antonio appointed Quartermaster of Cosenza by Ferdinand of Aragon in 1483. Alessandro marchese di S. Quirico, Foggia, Apulia. Francesco Antonio Sacchetti, born 1595 in San Severo, Foggia, Puglia was appointed bishop of San Severo 1 October 1635, and consecrated on 7 October 1635 by Cardinal Giulio Cesare Sacchetti. On 13 January 1648 he was appointed bishop of Troia, Foggia, Puglia and died in that office in June 1662.

Roman Branch

Cardinal Giulio Cesare Sacchetti (1586–1663). His election as Pope to succeed Urban VIII, was vetoed by Philip IV, King of Spain.

The Roman branch is descended from Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, the son of Matteo Sacchetti and Nanna Carducci. He was a trading partner of the Barberini family of Pope Urban VIII and married Francesca Altoviti, the daughter of Alessandro Altoviti. The marriage had the effect of transferring to the Sacchetti financial resources, property, profitable links with the curia and client relations already established by the Altoviti. They move to Rome from Florence and together they had nine children Matteo (died young), Bindo, Vincenzo, Clarice, Sandrina, Marcello, Alessandro, Ottavia, Matteo, Gianfrancesco and Giulio Cesare. Giulio Cesare became an influential cardinal, and in 1644 and 1655 included in the French Court's list of acceptable candidates for the Papacy.

Marcello Sacchetti. His brother, Marcello had been named by Pope Urban VIII as the Depositary General and Secret Treasurer of the Apostolic Chamber, as well as assigning him the lucrative lease of the alum mines of Tolfa. Collection Galleria Borghese.

Gianfrancesco was the Commissary General of the Papal troops in Valtellina in 1623 and 1626; and was created Marquis of Rigattini in 1632 and a Marquis of the Baldachin in 1633 giving him the rank of Prince at the papal court. The current Roman branch is descendant from Matteo and his wife Cassandra Ricasoli-Rucellai. Their son Don Giovanni Battista and Caterina Acciaioli inherited his uncle's title and their son Matteo who married Chiara Orsini exchanged the Marquisate of Castel Rigattini for the Marquisate of Castel Romano.

Voet, Galleria delle Belle, Chigi - Caterina Acciaioli Sacchetti (1640-1715) Daughter of Donato Acciaioli and Anna Maria Altoviti, wife of Giovanni Battista Sacchetti.
Portrait of Cardinal Urbano Sacchetti (1640–1705) Son of Matteo Sacchetti and Cassandra Ricasoli Rucellai

Their son Giulio married Maddalena Azzan. Their son Scipione became the Chief Quartermaster of the Apostolic Palaces in 1794, a title held by the family until the dissolution of the papal court in the 1968.[6] Scipione married Eleonora Cenci Bolognetti daughter of Girolamo Prince of Vicovaro. Their son Urbano married Beatrice Orsini, daughter of Domenico Duke of Gravina and Principe of Solofra and Maria Luisa Torlonia of the Dukes of Poli and Guadagnolo. Their younger son Luigi married Maria Colonna-Barberini, Princess and heiress of Palestrina and with a decree from the Italian state Luigi assumed his wife's titles and assumed the surname Barberini. The eldest son of Urbano and Beatrice Orsini, Giulio married Teresa, the daughter of the Marquis Antonio Gerini and his wife Anna Maria Borghese. Their son Giovanni Battista was a Councilor to the State of the Vatican and married Matilda Lante Montefeltro della Rovere. Their son Giulio, the last Chief Quartermaster of the Vatican, married Giovannella Emo Capodilista, the daughter of the Count Alvise and Maria Henriqueta Alvares Pereira de Mello of the Dukes of Cadaval. Giulio and Giovannella had five children. The current head of the family is their son Urbano.

Coat of Arms of the Sacchetti in the Duomo of Viterbo with frescoes by giuseppe passeri
Giovanni Lanfranco, Sacchetti Chapel, San Giovanni dei 1621–24, 01 resurrezione ed evangelisti San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome
Giovanni Lanfranco, Sacchetti Chapel, San Giovanni dei 1621–24, 01 resurrezione ed evangelisti San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Romei
Palazzo Sacchetti, via Giulia, Rome begun by Antonio da Sangallo, the younger for himself. The palace houses some of the most significant cycles of Mannerism, with works by Francesco Salviati, to which the splendid frescoes of the Audience Hall (1553–1555), Pietro da Cortona and Jacopino del Conte. Palazzo Sacchetti was used for the 2013 film, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty): "Viola, a rich and depressed friend, lives alone with her psychopathic son at Palazzo Sacchetti, in Via Giulia, where she organises a lunch where no one will be present [1].
Photo of Princess Beatric Orsini Beatrice Orsini Sacchetti. (1837-1902) Known as "The Black Queen" in the 19th c. Papal Rome. Daughter of Domenico Orsini of Gravina, and Donna Maria Luisa Francesca Gertrudis Torlonia, wife of Urbano Sacchetti.
Photo of Marques Urbano Sacchetti. (1835-1912) Son of Girolamo Sacchetti and Donna Maria Spada-Veralli. husband of "The Black Queen" Beatrice Orsini.

Il marchese Giulio Sacchetti (1926–2010)

A Lecture" The Sacchetti as Art Patrons during the 17th century. (in Italian) :“Gli Illustrissimi Signori Sacchetti Padroni” Il mecenatismo della famiglia Sacchetti e Pietro da Cortona 21 ottobre 2015 Nam Accademia Nazionale di San Luca.

Sacchetti-Barberini-Colonna, Princes of Palestrina


Cornelia Barberini, the daughter of Urbano Barberini and Maria Teresa Boncompagni, was the heiress and last of the Barberini. Cornelia married Giulio Cesare Colonna di Sciarra. This line became known as Barberini-Colonna. The last of this line was Maria, daughter of Prince Enrico Barberini-Colonna and Teresa Orsini. Maria became the heiress of the Barberini-Colonna. Maria married Luigi Sacchetti, son of the Marchese Don Urbano and Donna Beatrice Orsini. Luigi assumed the title of Prince of Palestrina and the name Sacchetti-Barberini, today known as the Barberini, Princes of Palestrina.

Notable Members


Poet Franco Sacchetti (1335–1400), Italian poet and novelist, best known for his Novelle (short stories)

Francesco Sacchetti (died in or before 1473), acclaimed doctor of medicine and professor of logic and law.

Cardinal Giulio Cesare Sacchetti (1586–1663), nominated twice by France for Pope in 1644 and 1655


  1. ^ "R1.2-1137 August 11, Strozziane Uguccioni (purchase) (00,004,399) Archivio di Stato, Firenze". 11 August 1137.
  2. ^

    "Grand'era gia` la colonna del Vaio (Pigli), Sacchetti, Giuochi, Fifanti e Barucci e Galli e quei ch'arrossan per lo staio"

    (a reference to the Chiaramontesi.) (Great was already the column of minever, Sacchetti, Giuochi, Fifanti, and Barucci and Galli, and they who blush for the bushel.)
  3. ^ A Florentine family in crisis: the Strozzi in the fifteenth century. Gregory, Heather Jean.
  4. ^ The Economy of Renaissance Florence By Richard A. Goldthwaite
  5. ^ Ave Papa Ave Papabile: The Sacchetti Family, Their Art Patronage, and Political Aspirations (Essays and Studies, Volume 6) Lilian H. Zirpolo.
  6. ^ "March 28, 1968: Pope Paul VI Formally Abolishes the Papal Court | Papal Artifacts".