Sanseverino are one of the most illustrious Italian historical families, the first of the seven great Houses of the Kingdom of Naples, with a branch of the family that obtained fiefs also in the Po Valley from the fifteenth century. As a whole the family came to dominate over more than 300 fiefdoms, 40 counties, 9 marquisates, 12 ducats and 10 principalities distributed mainly between Calabria, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. Among its members are cardinals, viceroys, marshals and warlords. The only branch of the Barons of Marcellinara exists of this historic family.
The family originated from the Norman knight Turgisio, descended from the dukes of Normandy, who had as a gift from Roberto il Guiscardo the county of Rota (today's Mercato San Severino), placed in a strategic position that connected the Principality of Salerno with the Duchy of Naples and Benevento. Having established his residence in the Castle of Sanseverino which was in his new estates, it also took its name. Due to the loyalty to the Pope and the Guelph party, the family was almost destroyed first by the Swabians and then by the Durazzo family, but it always managed to survive and return to its former glory.
In the fifteenth century the Sanseverino divided into the two large branches of Salerno and Bisignano. Other branches were those of the Sanseverino counts of Lauria and dukes of Scalea, Sanseverino dukes of San Donato, Sanseverino counts of Tricarico, Sanseverino counts of Caiazzo and counts of Colorno, Sanseverino baroni of Càlvera, Sanseverino baroni of Marcellinara and many other minor branches. The family Sangineto also descends from this family, formerly residing in Naples and Calabria, which took its name from the feud of Sangineto.