THE MALASPINA FAMILY

The Spino Fiorito, sign of a branch of the Malaspina family
The Spino Fiorito, sign of a branch of the Malaspina family

The Malaspina were an important feudal family in the Middle Age. They descended from the Obertenghi family, dominating in northern Tuscany and Liguria before 1000 a.C. The first Malaspina was Alberto, that extended his influence in the XI century on Luni, Genoa, Tortona, Bobbio, Pavia, Piacenza, Parma, Cremona. With the born of the Comuni, their dominions were reduced to the very northern part of Tuscany, along the river Magra till the sea. Obizzo il Grande, son of Alberto was a skillful politician. In 1167, he helped Federico Barbarossa the emperor, when escaping from Rome.
After a period of sour fights for Lunigiana with the Earl-bishops of Luni, in 1202, the peace of Aulla determined the power of the Malaspina in the area. Obizzo had three sons, Moroello, Obizzo II and Alberto. Moroello had four sons, among which Guglielmo, father of Opizzino, the first Malapsina of the Spino Fiorito. Obizzo II had two sons, among which Corrado l’antico, first Malaspina of the Spino Secco. In 1221, the large feud was divided between Corrado, that took possession of the lands on the right part of the Magra river, with capital Mulazzo and Opizzino, that took the dominions on the left of the river, with capital Filattiera.
The feud started to disintegrate itself in 1275 with the divisions among several descendants and new Malaspina lines: Filattiera, Treschietto, Bagnone, Malgrate, Villafranca, Gragnola, Fosdinovo. In 1306, the peace of Caselnuovo, contracted by Dante on behalf of the Malaspina, determined the confirmation of the territory of Lunigiana.
The decadence became evident with the numerous passage of conquerors in Lunigiana: Castruccio Castracani, Genova, Florence, Spaniards and Napoleon with the abolition of the feudalism and the end of Malaspina hegemony in Lunigiana.

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