OBIZZO MALASPINA ( + 1185)


Son of the marquess Alberto, who was the first one to bear the name of Malaspina, Obizzo won fame in the XIIth century by joining many battles in Italy and through his relationship with the emperor Federico de Barbarossa.

At first a rival to the emperor, Obizzo had fought with the Lombard cities for their independence in exchange of an outlet on the Mediterranean sea. Together with the Lombard League, he joined several battles, among others the famous one at Tortone in 1155, where he bravely resisted the emperor. Yet in 1164, he changed sides and got closer to Federico, who eventually granted him many fiefs in Lunigiane, Emilia, Lombardy and Piedmont. When, on his way back to Rome, the emperor was stopped by the Italian cities, Obizzo flew to his assistance and escorted him through the Aveto, Trebbia and Staffora valleys, hosting him for some time at Oramala Castle.

A few years later, Obizzo drew closer to the Lombard cities again and fought against the emperor at the battle of Legnano in 1175. In 1183, he also took part into Constance Peace, which celebrated the final victory of the cities and the acknowledgement of their kingly powers as well as their freedom in the city dealings. Obizzo died in 1185, leaving three children behind him: Obizzo and Moroello, whose descendants shared their immense estate a few decades later, and Alberto, who won fame in the field of the Arts, mainly poetry.