The Lombard Company

From the protection of foreigners’ interests to the exclusive representation of the Bolognese "families."
Alessandro Soncini

Blazon of the Company dei LombardiThe Compagnia dei Lombardi was founded in 1170, in a historical context in which many companies of arts and arms flourished in Bologna. They were formed by citizens belonging to different families of the bourgeois class. The Compagnia dei Lombardi arose in Bologna on the principle of solidarity between Bologna and the citizens of Lombardy, understood in the broad sense: meaning people from Parma, Brescia and Verona. In the early centuries, the Company played a role in protecting the interests of foreigners and, for this reason, it soon became an integral part of the city's political life. Over the centuries, the Company lost its original Lombard connotation to take on an exclusively Bolognese composition and, from the fifteenth century, an identity of aristocratic fellowship grew stronger. Among the prominent figures who were part of the Company, we remember Pope Benedict XIV (Prospero Lambertini) who, removed as Massaro in 1753, had the historic headquarters of the Compagnia in Santo Stefano restored at his expense. In the last centuries, as the old families became extinct, new ones were aggregated, up to the established number of 50. After eight centuries, the Compagnia dei Lombardi continues to gather annually for the nomination of the Massaro and the Officers: testimony of a family tradition that has been able to protect itself through different seasons of history and which continues to do so to this day.

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