The Marescotti family can be traced throughout European history. In fact, there are records showing how different members of the family were involved in some of the most important events. They took part in the Crusades, they were Knights Templar, they went on the voyage to explore America with Amerigo Vespucci, and travelled to the most remote corners of Asia (specifically in Mongolia) and Africa. The Marescotti family begot knights, ambassadors, cardinals, scholars, poets, painters, patrons, and so on. They participated in the various wars, as well as other historical events of undeniable importance.
Fifteen popes were related to the Marescotti-Ruspoli family – eight of them through Giacinta Conti Di Segui e Di Tuscola, who was the mother of Isabella Cesi Ruspoli (1676-1753), wife of Francesco Maria Ruspoli. They included John XII (955-964), Benedict VII (974-985), Benedict VIII (1012-1024), John XIX (1024-1032), Benedict IX (1032-1044), Innocent III (1221-1224), Gregory IX (1227-1241) and Alexander IV (1234-1261). The Marescotti-Ruspoli family was also related to Pope Paul III (1534-1549), through a marriage with the Farnese family, and Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592-1605), who sent Giordano Bruno to die at the stake. There were also three popes from the Orsini family, Celestine III (1191-1198), Nicholas III (1277-1280), and Benedict XIII (1724-1730); and two from the Rovere family, Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484), who commissioned the construction of the Sistine Chapel and instituted the celebration of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, and Pope Julius II (1503-1513).
01 Mario Scoto Marius Scotus – A member of the Douglas family from Galloway, he came to Italy as a paladin of Charlemagne and was later named military commander for the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (800 AD) by Pope Leo III. As a thank you gift for his loyalty to the emperor, Marius Scotus, was given the feud of Bagnocavallo in Romagna and the honor of being able to adorn his coat of arms with France’s three fleur-de-lis. In Bologna’s ancient Palazzo Marescotti, now the University of Bologna, there is a fresco featuring Marius Scotus next to Charlemagne, when he was appointed military commander to the emperor. 02 Lodovico Marescotti in 1402, fought for Bologna in order to win independence from the Church. He was the councilor and lieutenant of Gian Maria Visconti, Lord of Milan. 03 Galeazzo Marescotti in 1447, was named defender of the Republic of Bologna and senator to Pope Nicholas V. He was also invited to take up a prestigious position in the Church government; however, he chose not to accept because he wanted to remain loyal to the republican tradition of the city of Bologna. 04 Ercole Marescotti The only child of Galeazzo Marescotti to survive the vendetta of the republican family Bentivoglio (Bologna). At a later date, under the command of Pope Giulio II (Della Rovere) he recaptured the town. 05 Sforza Marescotti (1st Count of Vignanello) Son of Ercole, he was colonel in the army of Charles V. In 1536, he was given Ortensia Farnese Baglioni’s hand in marriage for some favors that he had done for Pope Paul III (Farnese). Ortensia’s dowry included the Vignanello Castle, wich her mother, Beatrice Farnese Baglioni, received as a gift from Pope Clement VII.
06 Antonio Alfonso Marescotti (Count of Vignanello and Parrano – a title passed down on his mother’s side, through the Farnese family) Married Giulia Baglioni in 1604. 07 Marcantonio Marescotti (3rd Count of Vignanello and Parrano) Married Ottavia Orsini, daughter of Vicino Orsini, who created the Sacred Grove of Bomarzo. Ottavia had the Renaissance-style hanging garden built in Vignanello. Through the restoration and measures of preservation taken by Donna Claudia Ruspoli, this masterpiece is known throughout the world, especially in Europe, as being one of the most unique gardens of the Renaissance period. The couple had five children: Bartolomeo, who bought Palazzo Ruspoli in Piazza Aracoeli; Vittoria; Ginevra (“Madre Innocenza”); Ortensia Marescotti Capizucchi, and Clarice (St. Giacinta), patron saint of Vignanello and Vierbo (1585-1604). Giacinta, who belonged to the Franciscan order, moved to the Convent of San Benardino, in Viterbo, where she died in 1604. 08 Sforza Vicino Marescotti (4th Count of Vignanello and Parrano) Married Vittoria Ruspoli, who belonged to a family originally from Florence, that later moved to Siena. Sforza took on the name Ruspoli, upon the request of Vittoria’s father, so that the name could be passed down, given that she was an only child. 09 Alessandro Marescotti (5th Count of Vignanello and Parrano) Married Ana Maria Corsini, who gave birth to Francesco Maria Ruspoli, the 1st Prince of Cerveteri. From his second marriage to Prudenza Gabrielli, Mario Marecotti-Capizucchi was born (Mario ttook the name Capizucchi upon his his wife’s family’s request, because they had no other heirs). Alessandro’s brother Francesco Marescotti (1634-1681) the heir of the properties of his maternal uncle Bartolomeo took on the name Ruspoli in 1676, and inherited Cerveteri and the Aracoeli Palace from the duke Flavio Orsini. 10 Francesco Maria Marescotti Ruspoli Capizucchi (1st Prince of Cerveteri and 6th Count of Vignanello and Parrano) He received the title of prince from Pope Clement XI (1709) for donating the Ruspoli Regiment in the Comarchio war, against Austria. A prestigious patron of the arts he appointed Handel as chapel master from 1706 to 1709 , during which time the musician composed more than 50 cantatas for the Marquis besides the Resurection Oratorio which was performed on Easter day 1707 at Palazzo Bonelli (today Valentini). Francesco Maria also participated in the founding of the literary group Academy of Arcadia, in Rome in 1690. The Arcadia was not just a school of thought, but rather a movement that extended throughout Italy in response to the Rococo style. It was Francesco who bought Palazzo Ruspoli on Via del Corso from the Caetani family and who built the Vignanello Collegiata which was consecrated by Pope Benedict XII in 1725.
11 Alessandro Marescotti Ruspoli (2nd Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 7th Count of Vignanello) Married Prudenza Marescotti Capizucchi and was named knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece, in 1762. 12 Francesco Ruspoli (3rd Principe of Cerveteri, Marques de Riano e 8th Conde of Vignanello) Was named heir of the House by Pope Pius VII, with the position of Grand Master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice. He married Leopoldina Khevenhuler. 13 Alessandro Ruspoli IV (4th Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 9th Count of Vignanello) Grand master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice, he married Princess Marianna Esterhaszy of Galantha (Austrian-Hungarian Empire). He was windowed and later named knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Chamberlain of the Austrian Empire (1787-1821). 14 Giovanni Ruspoli (5th Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 10th Count of Vignanello) Grand Master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice and General of the Pope, he arried Barbara Massimo, daughter of Prince Camillo Massino and Cristina of Saxony, Princess of Poland and Saxony, daughter of August III, king of Poland (1813-1849). 15 Francesco Ruspoli VI (1672-1731) (6th Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 11th Count of Vignanello) Married Egle Franceschi and then later Costanza Boncompagni Ludovisi.
16 Alessandro Ruspoli ( 1869-1952 ) (7th Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 12th Count of Vignanello) Grand Master of the Sacred Apostolic Hospice, knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Sacred Military Constantinian Order. He married Princess Anita Lante della Rovere (1873-1971). 17 Francesco Ruspoli VIII (8th Prince of Cerveteri, Marquis of Riano, and 13th Count of Vignanello) Married Claudia Matarazzo, daughter of Francesco and Filomena Matarazzo (Brazil). 18 Alessandro Ruspoli (9th Prince of Cerveteri and 14th Count of Vignanello) Had five children: Francesco Ruspoli (10th Prince of Cerveteri and 15th Count of Vignanello), son of Nancy de Girard de la Charbonniere; Tao Ruspoli and Bartolomeo Ruspoli, sons of Debra Berger; Melusine Ruspoli and Theodore Ruspoli children of Patricia Genest. Alessandro signed over the Vignanello Castle to his brother Sforza Vicino Ruspoli in the late 1980’s . Sforza Vicino Ruspoli donated the Castle to his two daughters, Claudia and Giada from his first marriage with Donna Domitilla Salviati. 19 Francesco Maria Ruspoli (1967) (X Prince of Cerveteri and XV Count Vignanello) married Angelica Visconti and has two children Alessandro and Vittoria. 20 Claudia and Giada Ruspoli are the actual owners of the Castle with their cousin Francesco Maria Ruspoli. Giada has two sons with Luiz Misasi: Marco and Paulo Ruspoli Misasi.