The Federici (Latin: de Fedricis or de Federicis) were an important Ghibelline family from Valle Camonica. Between 1458 and 1697, the members of this family held the office of Mayor of the Community of Valle Camonica 54 times.
Don Alessandro Sina traces the origins of the family to a Lombard count of the Sacred Palace of Bergamo, Gisalberto dei Gisalbertini of Bergamo, who lived in the 10th century. First of all the Martinengo, Gambara, Caleppio and Brusati families would descend from it. Guerrini advanced the hypothesis that the Brusati family, Guelph, split from internal rivalries, had split into two branches, one of which led by a certain Lanfranco, who took the name of Federici from his Ghibelline sympathy towards Federico Barbarossa.
They took power in the vicinity of Darfo, while the Brusati will be subdued in the areas surrounding Lake Iseo, until in 1331 they will sell all their assets to the now powerful Ghibelline relatives.
In a document of the thirteenth century there is reported for the first time the name Federici: it is an act in which it is established that the islands in the Oglio in the jurisdiction of the Court of Darfo belonged by a third to the Lords, for two thirds by the Vicini of Montecchio and Darfo concluded in the lawn of Santa Maria in Ronco, the Signori signed: Alberto was Philip of Niardo, Viscardo Brusati of Breno, Ottonello di Berzo, Maifredo of Esine and Lanfranco, who is called head of the Federici (here dicutur caput Federicorum ).
In 1230 the Federici are called Montecchio (Monticulum), from where they will begin their expansion first in Gorzone and then in Erbanno, where they will move on a permanent basis starting from 1291.
In 1287 Federici and Celeri lead the great Camuna rebellion against the municipality of Brescia; November 20, 1288 Brescia issues a ban against all the Federici, promising a size of 500 lire for each member killed, 1000 for the castle of Montecchio and 500 for those of Breno and Cimbergo. In this year the castle of Gorzone was destroyed.
The situation was resolved by the intervention of Matteo Visconti, Captain of Milan, called as an arbitrator by both parties. The Federici obtained protection, the return of their castles and a reimbursement of 2,300 imperial lire in Bonae monetae Brixiae (7 February 1292). In 1331 Zanone, called Mastaio and Ziliolo, sons of Bojaco Federici di Gorzone, bought Girardo Brusati all the goods and rights that the latter had in Artogne.
Pasino Federici (1339-1355), relying on the powers of the Visconti of Milan, settles in Edolo and throughout the upper valley, with the specific purpose of taking control of mountain passes and communication routes.
From 1342 the administration of the fortress of Mù began for the bishopric of Brescia, but already in 1345 the bishop Lambertino complained about the management of ecclesiastical assets.
On 11 December 1355 the Bishop of Brescia, following the renunciation made by Durando Ayardi, invested iure feuds of the rights of tithes and related proceeds in the territories of Monno, Edolo, Mù and Nadro, Pasino del fu Girardo Federici.
From 1361, under the encouragement of Bernabò Visconti, the sons of Pasino, Giovanni and Goffredo, began a close fight against the Guelphs of the middle Val Camonica. On December 31st 1397 the Federici signed the Peace of Breno. In 1403 Caterina Visconti entrusted the possessions confiscated from the Antonioli of Grevo to Giacomo called Macagno of the Federici di Angolo, in compensation for the many years spent in the service of the Duke of Milan.
On December 25, 1410 Giovanni and Girardo Federici will exterminate the Nobili family in the episode known as Lozio's massacre.
It is also granted to the family to boast the imperial half eagle (Media Aquila) in a golden field, combined with the family crest represented by three transversal bands discarded by white and blue.
Giovanni lived in the castle of Vezza d'Oglio (habitans Vezie), Girardo in the castle of Mù.
In 1412 Giacomo Federici, son of Giovanni, was fiefed by the Prince Bishop of Trento in the Castle of San Michele in Ossana.
In 1415 Giovanni died and left the county to seven children, known alternately as Counts of Mù or Conti di Vezza. They are: Antonio, Lanfranco, Bertolasio, Alberto called Bettinzone, Marco, Giacomo and Pasino.
In 1428 the castle of Montecchio was occupied by Francesco Bussone, Count of Carmagnola, and ruined in the name of Venice.
In the same year, within the Statutes of Valle Camonica approved by the Serenissima, the Federici obtained 2 permanent posts among the 96 members of the General Council from all the communities of the valley, and a seat on the council of the 11 additional Raiders, representing the Pievanati.
In 1423 Filippo Maria Visconti granted to the Federici the exemption of the ducal treasury. The document states that the family will be immune to the scuffie, since it was "usual to enjoy" for its condition of "extreme poverty".
On July 5, 1428, Giacomo Federici, son of Giovanni, received a ducal from the Capitanio di Valle Barbarigo, with which he could transfer all his Camuni assets to Ossana, in the Val di Sole.
On 10 April 1438 the Federici, gathered in the castle of Gorzone, gave power of attorney to Comincino and Alberto to go to the Ghibellino conference in Chiari and to act as allies of the Visconti.
In 1444 Count Damiolo Federici di Teglio, presumably due to a received rudeness, went down with a group of faithful to Sonico, plundering his cousin's house. The passage of the Aprica will be repeated with a sum equal to 4424 ducats.
In 1496 the emperor Maximilian I was lodged in Vezza by Bertoldo Federici, who due to the excessive expenses he had to contract had to increase the tithes he had on many communities in the valley.
Their power came to fall under the rule of the Serenissima, to which they had to adapt with ups and downs since 1428, which forced the powerful Camonica families to abandon their fortresses and their privileges.
Between 1509 and 1517 Valcamonica is under the control of Louis XII king of France, following the League of Cambrais. They are remembered the traitors, so called already at the time, who tried to tear Valcamonica and deliver it to the French castle of Tirano: Filippo Pietro and Antonio Federici of Edolo, Giovanni Franceschini di Vezza, Giovanni Tabachini dell'Aprica, the Motti del Buso and Rona his brother, all those of the Antonioli family of Monno and some of Saviore. The pact, stipulated in the house of Filippo Federici on 24 May 1509, allows the Duke of Tirano Giacomo Trivulzio, who called himself Dux Gallorum, to occupy the Valcamonica. The territory will return under the Venetian control with the peace of Noyon, in 1512, thanks also to the state of Grisons, the French were driven from the Valtellina.
In 1516 Filippo Federici hosted the emperor Maximilian I (a fact already happened in 1495).
Father Gregorio Brunelli lists the Mayors from 1458 to 1692, and it can be seen that the surname Federici and 11 times that of the Alberoni di Breno appear to be a good example, demonstrating how important these families were in the events of the Valley.
In 1761 under the orders of Pier Andrea Capello it is said that there are serious difficulties in finding representatives of the Federici for the Valle Councils, where they had to be admitted by right.
The powerful family, now in decline, establishes itself among the nobility of Brescia.