Alberto I of the Scala was a lord of Verona from 1277 until his death, even though he had previously been a councilor of the older brother, from whom he inherited power. Alberto was podestà of Mantua Podestà from 1272 to 1277, and after the assassination of his brother Mastino, on October 26, 1277 he returned quickly to Verona from Mantua and, avenged his brother's assassins. The new laws introduced harsherr punishments and because of that much more effective, so for a long time no new riots or conspiracies were made.
The killing of Mastino justified the veronese citizens' death sentences for the injuries of the conspirators and the measures taken by Alberto. He succeeded in obtaining the powers of a sovereign, thus officially creating the first township, even though Mastino had already centered the power in his hands.
Alberto had already demonstrated his political abilities in the offices he had already carried out, so his succession to the city's power was natural (also because Mastino did not leave legitimate descendants) and well accepted by the citizens of Verona. The merchants were already on Alberto's side, so that in 1269 they had already elected him Perpetual Podestà of Domus Mercatorum.
Alberto's main credit was the internal and external peace, and in 1290, thanks to his influence, he elected his son Bartolomeo as Captain, consolidating the power of the Scaligeri family and preparing the succession of the eldest son.
Thanks to the power the Scaligeri's private wealth increased considerably, and the people were generally satisfied with his situation.
In 1294, after Azzo VIII d'Este and Francesco d'Este moved away Costanza della Scala from Ferrara, Alberto declared war and, together with the Padovans, had a great victory, so much that it was celebrated with a great ceremony, in which he showed his great wealth: his sons Bartolomeo and Cangrande were armed knights and attended the medieval rally, while the guests were given purple dresses. Another great celebration was made for the wedding of Alboino's son with Matteo Visconti's daughter on December 28, 1298, to which also the people of Verona participated.
Recalling his origins, Alberto, in 1301, erected a new palace in Piazza Erbe, the Casa dei Mercanti, in Veronese stone and with the classical Ghibelline battlements, but also cared for religious buildings. Other public works were the improvement of city defenses and road restoration, the restoration of the Stone Bridge and the reconstruction of the New Bridge. The most important work was the expansion of the walls in the north of the city, from Bishop's Gate to Vittoria.
His son, Bartholomew I, who had taken over the headship, was entrusted to two military undertakings in 1297 and 1299: the first against the bishopric of Trento, who was threatening the family friends of Castelbarco and having a territory between Rovereto and Riva del Garda ; the second against Mantua, which was occupied. The Trentina War further consolidated the fidelity of the Castelbarco, and the same did the mantovian expedition against the neighboring city.
Alberto died in Verona on September 3, 1301, and succeeded his son Bartholomew I (who was given the trust of the two brothers, still underage), then the other two children. He left his great patrimony to the three sons, among which it was equally divided.