House of Spinola

This article is about the family of the House of Spinola. For the building known as Spinola House in St. Julian's, Malta, see Spinola Palace (St. Julian's).
The coat of arms of the Spinola family.

The House of Spinola, or Spinola family, was a leading Italian political family centered in Genoa. Their influence was at its greatest extent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Guido Spinola was one of the first important members of the family. He served as Consul of Genoa in 1102. The Spinola were generally Ghibellines and in league with the Doria Family.

The next Spinola to come to prominence after Guido was Oberto. In 1266 Oberto lead the Genoese fleets in a victory against the Venetians. In 1271 he joined forces with Oberto Doria to drive the foreign Podestà of Genoa from power and reform the government. They managed to have the Podestà removed and replaced by two captains of the people, elected for 22 years, with Oberto Spinola and Oberto Doria being the first two elected to this office.

How long Oberto Spinola remained as Captain of the people is not clear. However, Tommaso Spinola was a leading admiral in the Genoese war with Pisa. In about 1289 Corrado Spinola became the captain of the people in place of his father Oberto. In 1301 Corrado Spinola resigned the office of Captain of the people, as did Lamba Doria. This office was then replaced with a foreign podestà and an abbot of the people.

The next phase of Spinola involvement was done by Opicino Spinola.

Galeotto Spinola was appointed Captain of the people in 1335 along with Raffaele Doria. They overthrew the power of Robert of Naples in Genoa.

In 1432 Francesco Spinola was successful at the Battle of Gaeta in the war over the control of Naples. Shortly afterwards, Francesco led a revolt that ended the rule of a Visconti based in Milan over Genoa.

The great Italian-Spanish general, Ambrogio Spinola, Captain-General of the Army of Flanders from 1603-1629 is a member of this family.



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