The Scala family or Scaliger family was a dynasty that ruled over the city of Verona for one hundred and twenty-five years, from 1262 to 1387.
It was with Mastino that the Venetian city passed in a non-traumatic form from Comune to Signoria, even if the actual passage took place only with his brother Alberto. With Cangrande instead the Lordship reached the peak of its importance and fame.
The first of which we have certain information is Arduino della Scala "owner of respect and merchant of clothes" who claims to be of "Latin" origin in a document of 1180. From Arduino, came a Leonardino, a Balduino and his son Giacomino (or Jacopino), wool merchant, considered the progenitor of the subsequent Lords of Verona.
His son Mastino was not particularly rich, nor had noble titles, but he was skilled in politics, authoritative and capable, and above all prone to peace, fundamental aspect for the Veronese, who came out of a brief but bloody parenthesis of Ezzelino III da Romano's domination and held increasingly important roles within the Domus Mercatorum until it became the podestà from 1261 to 1269.
In the heart of Mastino there was not a plan of conquest of Verona in the short run, but proceeded by degrees and for this he took into account the Major Council and the able brother Alberto: he understood that the success of his plan was conditioned by the support of the clergy and of the merchants, for the merchants produced great wealth and had great strength in the greater council, while the high clergy possessed a lot of money.
At the time of Cangrande della Scala, due to the name of this exponent of the family, the legend was born that the Della Scala were related to some khan àvaro who would participate in the Lombard conquest of Italy. But it is only the attempt, often used by families of common extraction, to ennoble, once they have come to power, their origins on the basis of assonances of names or titles.