The House of Monaldeschi is a noble family of Germanic origin rooted in Orvieto. The founder of the family was a certain Monaldo, perhaps belonging to the lineage of the Counts of Angiò and whose son Rodorico settled in Orvieto at the time of Emperor Charlemagne around 809 AD.
Dante Alighieri remembers this family in the Divine Comedy, citing the conflict that one of the branches of the Monaldeschi undertaken with the Filippeschi family for the dominance of Orvieto.
The struggle in Orvieto against the Filippeschi family developed with alternating fortunes and with killing and mutual devastation. In the year 1212, Monaldeschi and Filippeschi clashed openly: ensuing massacres and destruction, which lasted for more than a century with these two families who fought both for political power in the city, and for the dominance over the castles and lands of the area.
But the most famous of the Monaldeschi was certainly Ermanno, who from 1334 to 1337 was the absolute Lord of Orvieto, demonstrating in those years a great diplomatic and organizational capacity, abolishing, however, freedom. At the death of Ermanno the family divided into four branches: Monaldeschi della Cervara, Monaldeschi del Cane, Monaldeschi della Vipera and Monaldeschi dell'Aquila.
However, among the four branches arose a mortal hatred. In the same year of the death of Ermanno Monaldeschi (1337) serious unrest in the city occurred, and, as had happened in 1313, after the battle won by the Monaldeschi, Guelphs, to the detriment of the Filippeschi, Ghibellines, they proceeded to the demolition of houses, castles , towers, palaces already belonging to the Monaldeschi. On September 24, 1347 a decree was issued by the Municipality of Orvieto to put an end to these devastations. The Monaldeschi were now masters of almost all Orvieto up to Montalto, Orbetello, and the island of Giglio, but divided between them, they were cruelly fought for reasons of interest. In June 1351 the Monaldeschi della Cervara captured a poor fellow of the Viper's faction and killed him so brutally in the cellars of Torre Alfina that his body was cut into pieces so small as to make food for the falcons. However, the mutual slaughters continued throughout the century.
Also the quarrels between Acquapendente and Orvieto were frequent. In 1406 the Acquesiani, after the death of the Pope, took Monte Rufeno and San Pietro Aquaeortus, burned Marzapalo and damaged Trevinano. In 1442 Aluisi Monaldeschi della Cervara saw his fief of Torre Alfina occupied by the captain of fortune Ciarpellone, under the orders of Francesco Sforza (later Duke of Milan), and had to pay a thousand ducats of gold to get his assets back. In 1527, the year of the "sack of Rome", Camillo Monaldeschi had to contend with the army of Charles V fighting with Francesco I for the dominance over Italy. His army consisted of 13,000 Lansquenets, Spanish soldiers and adventurers. Among the latter there were the soldiers of Fabrizio Maramaldo, remained sadly famous in history for having raged on Francesco Ferrucci dying in the battle of Gavinana The infamous German army devastated the area with robberies and looting. Proceno, San Lorenzo and Grotte di Castro were heavily hit. Acquapendente was saved thanks to donations of supplies to the soldiers. While the bulk of the army plundered Rome, Maramaldo's soldiers raged in the area destroying the Alfina countryside, perhaps instigated by the Vitozzi to spite their opponents to the Monaldeschi. But Camillo Monaldeschi knew how to organize the resistance: he brought a group of well-armed men from Trevinano, and so the castle was able to resist the attack. The fate of Onano was very different from that of Torre Alfina. Taken by force, it was looted and burned, the inhabitants were the object of massacres, killings, robberies and cruelty of all kinds.
After the cyclone of the lansquenets, Camillo Monaldeschi could once again dedicate himself to the government of his vast fiefdoms. But in 1592 Gianfrancesco Monaldeschi was accused and found guilty of having given asylum to rebels and brigands. Pope Clement VIII confiscated in favor of the Apostolic Chamber half of the estate of Trevinano, three quarters of the remaining property was sold to Cardinal Giacomo Simoncelli, Bishop of Orvieto on June 26, 1598. Perhaps the Monaldeschi found no other way to pay their debts.
The last person of the Monaldeschi family who acquired a certain notoriety for his tragic end, was the Marquis Giovanni Rinaldo, great squire and lover of the ex-queen Christina of Sweden. The queen came in possession of a letter in which the Marquis, pretending that others had written it, revealed several secrets of her, Cristina, who was a guest of the French king at Fontainebleau, had him killed, granting him just two hours of time to be able to confess.
The decadence of the family, which began around the 16th century, culminated in 1664 with the sale of Torre Alfina to the Apostolic Chamber, after which no more significant information was received on it.