The Barberini family was an influential Italian princely and papal family originally from Tuscany, originally from Florence, known since the first half of the eleventh century.
The family carried the original name "Tafani" and was considered originally from Barberino Val d'Elsa; in Florence, their residence was Palazzo Tafani da Barberino. Given the name of little signorile, with the rise of family fortunes their name was changed to "Barberini" (from the name of the country of origin) and on their coat of arms the tafani were replaced by bees.
The peak of their power was reached in 1623, with the rise to the papal throne of Maffeo Barberini, Pope Urban VIII, who, in the style of the era, facilitated the military career of his brother Antonio, created cardinals two nephews and appointed prince of Palestrina another nephew, Taddeo Barberini, who was also appointed commander of the papal army. During the first war of Castro his troops were routed by those of Odoardo I Farnese. Urban VIII also promoted the work entitled I Documenti d'Amore by Francesco da Barberino, so as to ennoble his dynasty with beautiful letters.
After the death of Urbano in 1644, his successor, Pope Innocent X, was hostile towards the family, so Taddeo escaped to Paris, where he died in 1647. He was succeeded by his son Charles, who renounced and became cardinal. In place of Charles succeeded his brother Maffeo, At the death of Maffeo (1685) happens Urban. On the death of Urbano (1722) the men's line of the Barberini became extinct. The daughter of Urbano, Cornelia, married in 1728 the prince Giulio Cesare Colonna di Sciarra who added the surname Barberini to his own. From the union two lines were born, the firstborn of the Barberini Colonna di Sciarra, princes of Carbognano and the second-born of the Barberini Colonna Principi of Palestrina. On the death of Prince Henry Barberini-Colonna in 1889 the name passed to the Marquis Luigi Sacchetti, husband of Maria Barberini, daughter of Henry, who also recognized the title of Prince of Palestrina and the right to succeed in the surname Barberini.
The Palazzo Barberini and their library in Rome are the tangible sign of their past power. In the seventeenth century the Barberini were among the major patrons in Baroque Rome, financing works of emblematic importance for the architecture of all time, such as the church of Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza by Francesco Borromini. The way in which, however, they reused the works of antiquity in an excellent way for their purposes is at the origin of the saying "Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini" (What barbarians did not do was done by the Barberini).