The history of the Aloigi Luzzi Family in Sansepolcro.
The history of the Aloigi Luzzi family began with the Gherardi’s, an ancient and wealthy family which established itself in Sansepolcro during the XIV century.
A branch of the Gherardi family had increased its wealth with the production and trade of the “guado” plant used in dying cloth and in the production and sale of the cloth and even extended its trade to the Papal State of Rome.
The house on the Castellaccia property which the family owned, was built during ancient times. It probably looked like a traditional country home with various watch towers. Two of them still stands today in the hamlet of Gragnano. The building possibly had the same structure during the fifteen hundreds when country homes were often transformed into important and artistic dwellings to represent the success of the family which at that time had taken its wealth from manufacturing, which was in crisis, to put it into land.
Girolamo was the first son of Ippolito (the son of Girolamo of Baldo, who was the son of Leonardo of Gherardo, who was the son of Cristofano of Leonardo) Gherardi, who was a merchant. When he was older, he decided that the time was right to climb up another step in the social ladder to gain more honours and privileges.
In fact, in 1609 Girolamo founded a ‘commenda’ with 4.000 ‘scudi’ in the Military Order of Saint Stephen and reached the rank of Military Knight.
Through this military-religious order, the merchant bourgeoisie class, which was a rather low social strata, acquired the so-called ‘nobility of the sword’ which was needed to ascend to equal rank with the true nobles and even had a 15th century coat of arms. Sansepolcro, was mainly populated with families belonging to the merchant bourgeoisie which focused on acquiring positions with greater honours and authority especially in the other Italian courts, to then return to their hometown with higher social status. In effect, however, the few to boast of descending from the nobility of court or sword, didn’t carry enough political or economical weight to change the situation of the city.
Girolamo understood the importance of this Order of Knights and through his foresight, his heirs finally became part of the nobility. Girolamo enlarged his residence in Sansepolcro in Via degli Abbarbagliati (today, Via Luca Pacioli), and purchased some apartments bordering his home which all became part of a complex structure comprised of single separate buildings in Via degli Abbarbagliati, Via del Panico (today, Via Mazzini) and Via S. Bartolomeo.
After 1610, he commissioned various masons to enlarge his rural dwelling in Castellaccia and various rooms were added to all three floors. After the completion of this work, the coat of arms of the Gherardi family, with the date 1614, was carved above the new entrance door - made of stone ashlar-work, – which provided access to the new wing.
When Girolamo died in 1641, his sons, Giacinto and Francesco fought about how their inheritance was to be divided and - even though they had both been made equal heirs of 50% of the property - Giacinto, the eldest son, who had succeeded his father in the Military Order of Saint Stephen, without consideration for his brother’s rights, took over the ownership of the enlarged residence in Via degli Abbarbagliati, and of the country property in Castellaccia. After Giacinto died in 1666, the inheritance wasn’t divided among the eldest son, Knight Antonio Maria, the Priest Girolamo and Antonio.
In 1676, Antonio, the last- born, married Felice Niccola, the daughter of Pietro Pietramaleschi and of Felice, who was the daughter of Remigio Migliorati.
This branch of the family was a fortunate one, because it managed to get the ownership of the wealth of all three lines: that of the rich Pietramaleschis, of the Migliorati who were burdened in 1650, by the ‘fedecommesso’ made by Remigio which stated that the heirs were to be the heirs of his heirs and that they were to carry the surname and the coat of arms and they would receive a part of the Gherardi property which included the country property and home in Castelllaccia. Antonio and Felice had many sons and daughters.
Costanza was born on March 8th, 1700 and on October 7th, 1718 she was married to Pietro of Giovan Battista Aloigi from Città di Castello, who was a member of one of the forty noble families of the Papal State.
The two Coats of Arms belonging to the two families were merged into one which showed a blue field to the left with an upright lion under the sun of the Aloigi family, while on the left it showed a red field with the head of a white horse under the Gherardi’s cross of the Saint Stephen Knights.
One year after Antonio Gherardi died, on October 30th, and his daughters began fighting over the Migliorati inheritance.
Pietro di Giovan Battista Aloigi was a wealthy man who had owned important property in Città di Castello, Apecchio and Rome. The meeting of all these branches under the Aloigi family of Sansepolcro created an occasion for some investments.
It is certain that all the homes bordering the home of the eldest of the Gherardi children were purchased. These homes were on the lower part of Via del Panico (today Via Mazzini) and formed a corner with Via San Bartolomeo. Restucturing work on the Aloigi Luzzi property began and it was in accordance to the architecture in fashion at that time. It was completed in 1757.
The country home in Castellaccia was also enlarged with another wing and throughout a 20 year period was enriched with frescoes and other art besides seeing the addition of a chapel.
Pietro Aloigi and Costanza Gherardi had three sons, Antonio, Francesco and Cesare, and two daughters, Cecilia and Nicola Maria, who died after only one month.
Antonio Aloigi didn’t marry and led the life of a spendthrift and parasite while he constantly fought with his two brothers over the Migliorati inheritance.
Cesare, entered the military with Francesco, though Francesco ran away from the army to follow the footsteps of his brother Antonio, but in a more moderate way.
Among the many women he loved, Francesco also courted Maria Teresa, 39 years younger, the daughter of Ranieri Francesco Pichi and Bernardina Migliorati.
On May 17th, 1779, possibly after just realizing Maria Teresa was pregnant, Francesco and Maria Teresa were married in the Sansepolcro Cathedral and on January 22nd, 1780 Maria Costanza, the last heir to the Aloigi fortune which was comprised of various lines of inheritance, was born.
On March 23rd, 1784, the brothers Francesco and Antonio Aloigi, who had added the Migliorati surname to their own because they had inherited the Migliorati wealth, built an oratory near their their villa in Castellaccia, and there “transferred the obligations and holy objects of the small church of Lorentino which was also their property”.
The Loretino oratory was in the Township of S. Niccolò di Sopra and it belonged to Remigio Migliorati and his heirs which later became Pietramaleschi, because Pietro Pietramaleschi married Felice, the daughter of Migliorati and his only heir.
The painting of the Black Madonna of Loreto was also brought to the chapel of the Castellaccia villa. The painting, at its bottom, still shows the Coat of arms of Pietramaleschi, composed of an eagle on a white field with geometric figures below in bas relief. The controvery about the inheritance among the Aloigi ended with the deaths of the brothers, Cesare ed Antonio, respectively in 1783 and in 1787.
Francesco was finally the only heir to the Migliorati “fedecommesso”. He was enrolled in the Register of Nobles of the Gran duke of Tuscany on January 16th, 1789 (almost 6 months before the taking of the Paris Bastille!).
Francesco Aloigi Migliorati died in 1793, leaving his daughter, Costanza, sole heir to his wealth.
On September 13th, 1795, in the oratory of the Castellaccia villa, Costanza Aloigi, just 15, was married to Francesco, the son of Knight Alessandro Luzzi, another important family which became famous in 1600.
Francesco Luzzi joined his surname to his wife’s because that branch of the Aloigi had great wealth including real estate and other property, and had his wife’s surname not been joined to his, the family name would have died out. In exchange, she brought a dowry which consisted on some land in Villa di S. Martino and in Fariccio near the town of Sansepolcro.
Their numerous progeny carried the Luzzi Aloigi surname but afterwards, possibly because the property was registered under the name of Aloigi, they were called Aloigi Luzzi.
The Gherardi property in Villa di Montedoglio and in Gragnano were inherited only by one son of Francesco and Costanza, Francesco Aloigi Luzzi, who left it by will to his son, Agide. Agide, in turn, left it to his son, Saverio and it was finally inherited by Saverio’s son, Lamberto, the present owner of the property.
Ilaria Aloigi Luzzi
All these information came from the documents in the historical private archive of the Aloigi Luzzi family and of the “estimi catastali” of the Arezzo archive.