Azzone Visconti

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Azzone Visconti
Lord of Milan
Azzone Visconti
Coat of arms 65px
Spouse Caterina di Savoia
Noble family House of Visconti
Father Galeazzo I Visconti
Mother Beatrice d'Este
Born 7 December 1302
Died 16 August 1339
Buried San Gottardo, Milan
Occupation Condottiero

Azzone Visconti (7 December 1302 – 16 August 1339) was lord of Milan from 1329 until his death. He is considered the founder of the state of Milan, which later became a duchy.


Born in Ferrara, he was the sole legitimate son of Galeazzo I Visconti and Beatrice d'Este. In 1322 he was lord of Piacenza, but in the same year, together with his father, was forced to flee. In 1325 he took part to the victorious Battle of Altopascio against the Guelphs.

In 1329 he bought, for 60,000 (or 125,000)[1] florins the title of imperial vicar of Milan by the emperor Louis IV in opposition to the Pope, who nominally held the right of the nomination. Azzone paid only 12,000 of the promised florins, the feeble Louis being unable to force the payment. In the same years he was named as one of the assassins of his uncle Marco Visconti, but was never condemned. On 15 March 1330 Azzone was appointed perpetual lord of Milan. the expiring of the excommunication pending over the family since the times of his grandfather Matteo.

In 1331, he married Caterina di Savoia,[2] daughter of Louis II of Vaud. That same year, Charles of Bohemia, the son of King John of Bohemia and future emperor as Charles IV, was nearly poisoned to death at a banquet in Pavia. Azzone was again suspected. In the August of the same year he allied with Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat, against King Robert of Anjou, in order to capture his possessions in north-western Italy. In 1332 he also conquered Bergamo and Pizzighettone, continuing in 1335 with Lodi, Crema and other Lombardy lands who had ceded themselves to the Papal States, as well as Vercelli and Cremona.[1]

Lodrisio Visconti, who had escaped, set a company of mercenary troops with the help of the Scaligers of Verona, who sought vengeance for Azzone's support to Venice during the war with Verona. The latter was however defeated by the Milanese troops in the battle of Parabiago, to which Azzone, suffering of gout, did not partake. Lodrisio was imprisoned in the castle of San Colombano al Lambro.

He died in 1339 of a gout attack, and was buried in the church of San Gottardo, which he had commissioned some years before. He had no male heirs, having had only a daughter, Luchina. He is also remembered for his great construction works in Milan and other cities of Lombardy.[1]

File:IMG 5256 - Milano - Tomba di Azzone Visconti in san Gottardo in Corte - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto - 17-feb-2007.jpg
Azzone Visconti's tomb in the church of San Gottardo in Corte (formerly the chapel of the Royal Palace of Milan), was sculpted by Giovanni di Balduccio and his workshop. The relief on it shows Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian investing Azzone Visconti as imperial vicar. The monument was dismantled during the neoclassical reconstruction of the church, and rebuilt in modern times in the way we can see it now; however several parts of it had been meanwhile lost.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tolfo, Maria Grazia; Colussi, Paolo (February 7, 2006). "Storia di Milano ::: I Visconti:". Storia di Milano (in Italian). Milano: Storiadimilano. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Marek, Miroslav (January 9, 2011). "Visconti 2". Genealogy.Eu. Retrieved August 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[self-published source][better source needed]
Preceded by
Galeazzo I Visconti
Lord of Milan
Succeeded by
Luchino Visconti