Nino Visconti

Ugolino Visconti (died 1298), better known as Nino, was the Giudice of Gallura from 1275 or 1276 to his death. He was a son of Giovanni Visconti and nephew of Ugolino della Gherardesca. He was the first husband of Beatrice, daughter of Obizzo II d'Este. His symbol was a cock.

Nino succeeded his father in Gallura in 1275 or 1276 and spent most of his life alternating time in Pisa and Gallura. His chaplain, a friar named Gomita, was caught taking bribes to release prisoners and so Nino had him hanged. Gomita was placed in the eighth circle of Hell in the Inferno and Nino was commended for the act of justice and piety.

In 1288, he began to share power with his uncle in Pisa, but the two quarreled. The elder Ugolino tried to enlist the archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini to expel Nino from the city, but the archbishop instead exiled them both and appointed his own podestà and capitano del popolo. Then a Pisan army was sent to take control of Nino's giudicato. The betrayed giudice never set foot in his giudicato again.

Nino's daughter Joanna succeeded to the title of Gallura and married Rizzardo IV da Camino, Count of Ceneda and Lord of Treviso.

Nino was an important patron of literary culture. Dante Alighieri was a friend, and, in the eighth canto of his Purgatorio, to his mild surprise, meets Nino in the region of Purgatory outside St. Peter's gate, where the souls of those who neglected their spiritual welfare for the sake of their country are detained for a period equal to their earthly lifetimes before beginning their purgation. Nino asks Dante to remind Joanna to pray for him, especially as his widow was remarrying into the Milanese branch of the Visconti.

Nino was also an acquaintance of several troubadours and at least two Occitan works are addressed to him. The two are anonymous coblas that appear towards the end of an Italian chansonnier of 1310. One cobla, Mand qe iur e non periur was addressed al iuge de Galur, that is, Nino, and has sometimes been ascribed to Paolo Lanfranchi da Pistoia. The cobla which appears immediately after it in the chansonnier is also addressed to Nino, but has not been assigned by any scholar to Paolo. Terramagnino da Pisa, a native of Pisa's peninsular territories, was frequently present in Gallura, where he probably spent most of his adult life. His Doctrina de Cort was addressed to Nino, at whose court it may have been written. Another Occitan poet with whom Nino had contact was Luchetto Gattilusio, who acquired interests in property in Sardinia and appeared in several documents pertaining to Nino's rule.

Further reading

Preceded by
Giudice of Gallura
Succeeded by
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