The Families

The Annibaldi

The family that included many of the senators and cardinals is divided into three branches, namely, della Molara, di Montecompatri and Zacanto.

One of the most renowned members was cardinal Riccardo della Molara, whose name came from the fortress near ´Tuscolo´, his permanent residence.

Paolo Annibaldi was known for his friendship with Petrarch; it seems that Petrarch dedicated his poem "Gentle Spirit" to him.

St.Thomas Aquinas dedicated a part of his "Catena Aurea" to Annibaldo Annibaldi.
Cardinal Pietro Annibaldi, who died in 1414 and whose mausoleum is found in the Basilica of S.Maria in Trastevere, took over the stem and name of the Stefaneschi´s, thus becoming the last descendant of that family.
After expelling the Frangipane family, the Annibaldi´s area of predominance in Rome was the Colosseum. The tower “delle Milizie” also belonged to the Annibaldi family and it is said to have been built on the ruins of the Roman tower where Nero stood watching as the fire consumed Rome.

The Counts of Tuscolo

They took their name after the small Roman town of Tusculum, near present-day Frascati, where they lived.

The founder of the family was Alberico of Rome, who died in 955 and was son of Alberico of Spoleto. The first to have carried the title of Count of Tuscolo was his son Gregorius, Praefectus navalis of Pope Ottone III. The Colonna family was founded by Pietro, son of Gregorius II, owner of the castle ”della Colonna” located on the Colli Albani.

Del Bufalo

According to Theodore Amayden, a historian of the 17th century, the origin of Del Bufalo family derived from the Cancellieri family of Pistoia. The latter actually moved to Rome after the struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, around the middle of the XIII century.

When a member of the Cancellieri family was baptized with the name ”Bufalo”, his sons took their father´s first name as surname thus starting a new family. But according to Carlo Augusto Bertini, who went through Amayden’s biographies again, the Del Bufalo family did not discend from the Cancellieri of Pistoia. Actually, the name Cancellieri linked to Del Bufalo is merely the result of the fact that the latter had occupied the position of chancellors for many generations.
Della Valle

According to Benedetto Blasi, this family took the name after having moved into a swamp area which was a valley, around the XII century: the area was located in Rome between present-day Torre Argentina, Chiesa Nuova (also called “in Vallicella”) and the Pantheon.

The most important member of the family was Cardinal Andrea della Valle, who died in 1534. He had the church, the palace and the theater built all of which which still carry his name.The last discendant of this family was Pietro della Valle, whose daugther, Romoberta, married marquis Ottavio Benedetto Del Bufalo in 1633.

According to Theodore Amayden, the family had Spanish origins since their surname was ´De Lavalle´.


The origin of this family dates back to 1060 when it was found mentioned in the chronicle of the Abbey of Subiaco.

In the same year, we find Count Oddo di Paolmbara. This surname probably comes from the town of Palombara Sabina, of which he was lord; they were a branch of the Savelli family, whose members were ancient Roman barons.


The origin of this family dates back to the VIII century probably starting with Stephanus, duke and patrician, linked to the Aldobrandeschi family. In the X century the Ildebrandi and, later, the Ranieri de Marana branches originated; in the XIV century we find the Stefaneschi-Ildebrandi.

According to Giuseppe Marchetti Longhi, this was the most truly Roman and imperial among the Roman families. Among its members we find Stephanus Ranieri de Marana, who was senator in 1191, and responsible of the deed which sold the territories of Tuscolo to Pope Celestino III (1191-1198).

It is noteworthy that Giovanni Stefaneschi was excommunicated on the steps of St.Peter’s Church by Pope Innocenzo III who accused him of having usurpated a portion of Tuscolo through deceit, i.e. by a fictitious investiture received on behalf of Celestino III. The descendants of the Stefaneschi family had large, urban, suburban and rural properties in Latium and Tuscia.

In Rome, they had their dwellings in Trastevere and in St. Egidio´s Square; the churches where they were buried are those of S. Maria in Trastevere and S. Giacomo di Septimiano.