araldica di firenze: the frescobaldi

de' frescobaldi 2

Family: Frescobaldi
Dates to: at least 1250
Meaningful shapes, colors and symbols: Truncated, with the top half of gold and
the bottom half having three silver drums on a red background.
Where to find it: Palazzo Frescobaldi, Piazza de' Frescobaldi (on the oltrarno side of Ponte Santa Trinita)

The Frescobaldi are one of the older families of Florence.  They came from the Val di Pesa, where they had large land holdings.  Through their lands and their success in the wool trade they became very wealthy, and were therefore involved in early international banking.  In fact, the family's bank supported Kings of England, in particular Edward I and II.

The Frescobaldi were active in Florentine politics as well, and one historian says that there were no Florentine political conspiracies that didn't involve the Frescobaldi.  Their contentious role in the city's politics led to their being barred from holding public offices at various times and at least once they were exiled from the city.

Their story isn't only about banking and politics.  Dino Frescobaldi, a Florentine poet who lived from 1271-1316 was a contemporary and friend of Dante Alighieri and is remembered for his sonnets and songs.