Castle Florence – Castello del Trebbio castle near Florence Italy with pool

Brief History

The Pazzi Conspiracy

The Conspiracy

The idea of conspiring against the Medici family catalyzed a whole series of figures opposed to them, making it unclear who was actually the mind behind the plot. It is certain that Francesco de’ Pazzi played a fundamental role together with his friend Girolamo Riario, Pope Sisto IV’s nephew, with whom he had already previously shared his aversion to Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici. Confident that they would receive the approval of the Pontiff, who had political and economic interests in the fall of the Medici dynasty, Riario and De’ Pazzi tried to involve the Archbishop of Pisa, Francesco Salviati, another figure who was far from sympathizing with the De’ Medici family and who therefore accepted without any hesitation to take part in the plot.
Salviati and Francesco De’ Pazzi then identified Giovan Battista da Montesecco, warlord of the Pope, as the right man to complete the undertaking. The latter, initially reluctant, opposed the fact of being a soldier for the Pope and Count Riario and wondered with concern if Sisto IV had approved what was being planned. The two succeeded, however, in convincing him on the grounds that Count Riario himself would benefit from the deaths of Lorenzo and Giuliano, ensuring the support of the Pope.

Montesecco had met Lorenzo several times in Florence and it seems that on more than one occasion the courtesy and wisdom of the latter were such as to make him almost waver from the purpose. Another figure who took part in the conspiracy was that of Iacopo de’ Pazzi, who was initially completely reluctant to join the plan set up in Rome by his nephew and Archbishop Salviati, but who then gave his approval, probably after he had become aware of the support given by the Pope to the whole affair.

The role of Pope Sisto IV is still unclear because although his interest in the change of government in Florence and the fall of the Medici supremacy was undisputed, it is not certain that he was fully aware t of the extent of the criminal plans designed by Francesco De’ Pazzi, Riario and Salviati.

Initially the plan was to poison the two brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano, during a banquet they had organized at Villa Medici in Fiesole, and it seems that Iacopo De’ Pazzi and Girolamo Riario were those directly responsible for this. The festive occasion and the relationship between the Medici and the Pazzi, sanctioned a few years earlier by the marriage of Bianca De’ Medici – sister of Lorenzo and Giuliano – with Guglielmo De’ Pazzi – brother of Francesco – should have diverted all suspicion from the conspirators. However, due to fate, o Giuliano’s sudden indisposition meant that he could not attend the banquet, forcing his killers not to intervene. The attack was postponed to the following day where it would take place in Florence Cathedral.

The Attack

On Sundaye 26th April 1478 during the celebration of Mass in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the conspirators were waiting for Lorenzo and his younger brother Giuliano de’ Medici., and attacked at the exact moment that the priest was raising the consecrated Host. eThe triggering of the ambush was not a random choice but dictated by the fact that most of those present, including the Medici, showed respect for the religious ritual by kneeling and bowing their heads, thus becoming easy targets.
The conspirators, armed with daggers and swords, jumped onto Giuliano de’ Medici who was kneeling at the ancient tribune around the altar , where he was killed by Francesco de’ Pazzi (the historian Poliziano reports a total of 19 blows). Lorenzo, on the other hand, was wounded superficially at the base of his neck by Antonio da Volterra, who, together with Stefano da Bagnone, ghad taken the place of Montesecco, who had refused in the end to carry out the conspiracy in a church during a religious service, professing himself to be a warlord and not an assassinn. The flight of the Magnifico into the Sacristy and those vicissitudes that, in a few frantic minutes, led him to salvation, decreed the failure of the conspiracy and the consequent end of the Pazzi family as well as the condemnation of those who had taken part.

Shortly after in fact, while Iacopo De’ Pazzi was trying to escape from Florence, Lorenzo gave the order to hang all the conspirators in Palazzo della Signoria, so that everyone could understand the Medici supremacy. Even Iacopo who had managed to escape, first to Castello del Trebbio and then to the Mugello countryside, was finally captured and put to death.
Giovan Battista da Montesecco, whose resignation was decisive for the failure of the Congiura, was the only conspirator who was spared death by hanging and the shame of public disgrace. rFor reasons of honour he had not denounced the Pazzi family in time to avoid the completion of the conspiracy, but as a man of arms he confessed the betrayal at a later date and for this reason was the only one who received an honorable death with burial. The Congiura De’ Pazzi therefore helped strengthen the Medici hegemony, which saw its moment of maximum splendor thanks to Lorenzo the Magnificent and sanctioned the end of the Pazzi family who saw the confiscation of all their property including Castello del Trebbio.

The History of Castello del Trebbio after the Conspiracy

The Pazzi Family

The widow of Renato di Piero de’ Pazzi – another of Iacopo’s nephews and executed at the failure of the conspiracy – a certain Francesca di Giovanni di Martini asked the Republic of Florence in 1478 to return her dowry as sanctioned by her marriage agreement, which decreed that if she was widowed, she could redeem the value of 6000 florins. In 1481 she received Castello del Trebbio and the goods attached to it of equal value. Castello del Trebbio therefore returned to the Pazzi family until 1671 when the main branch of the family died out and the property passed to the Nerli family.

The Baj Macario Family

Castello del Trebbio passed through several owners until the mid-20th century, when it was abandoned due to the phenomenon of urbanism, where there was a tendency to abandon life in the countryside and move to a most comfortable one in the city.

In 1968 Giovanni Enea, also known as Nino Baj Macario, bought the property and, with the help of his wife Eugenia, managed to rebuild the villa-castle and farm from its state of total neglect.

In October 2018, Castello del Trebbio celebrated the first 50 years of the Baj Macario family ownership. The family still lives in the castle, which is not only their home but also a well-established winery.

Castle Florence