Bardi family

The Bardi family were an influential Florentine family that started the powerful banking company Compagnia dei Bardi. In the 14th century the Bardis lent Edward III of England 900,000 gold florins, a debt which he failed to repay along with 600,000 florins borrowed from the Peruzzi family, leading to the collapse of both families' banks. During the 15th century the Bardi family continued to operate in various European centres, playing a notable role in financing some of the early voyages of discovery to America including those by Christopher Columbus and John Cabot.[1]

The nobility of the Bardi family has been documented since the year 1164, when Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa relinquished the county of Vernio to Count Alberto along with “the right to confer the noble title on his descendents.”.[2] Countess Margherita, the last of Alberto’s line, sold Vernio to her son-in-law, Piero de’ Bardi. Alberto’s property included "a castle and nine communes" located 22 miles from Florence on an area that bordered the Mugello. During the fourteenth century the Bardi family became so powerful that the Florentine government considered them a threat. They eventually were forced to sell their castle to Florence because “fortified castles near the city were seen as a danger to the republic.”.[2]

In the 1290s, the Bardi and Peruzzi families had established branches in England and were the main European bankers by the 1320s. By the fourteenth century the Bardi and the Peruzzi family grew tremendously wealthy by offering financial services.[3] These two families facilitated trade by providing the merchants with bills of exchange, known today as checks. What made it so simple was that money paid by a debtor in one town could be paid out to creditor just by presenting the bill in another town.[4][5] By 1338, there were more than eighty banking houses in Florence.[6] The Bardi family had thirteen different branches located in Barcelona, Seville and Majorca, in Paris, Avignon, Nice and Marseilles, in London, Bruges, Constantinople, Rhodes, Cyprus and Jerusalem.[7] Some of Europe’s most powerful rulers were indebted to the Bardi family. This was one of the main reasons of the bankers’ downfall.[8]

During the Hundred Years War in the early 1340s, Edward III of England was engaged in an expensive war with France. He borrowed 600,000 gold florins from the Peruzzi banking family and another 900,000 from the Bardi family. In 1345 Edward III defaulted on his payments, causing both banking families to go bankrupt.[9]

Despite the failure of the bank, the Bardi family ranked among Italy’s most successful merchants and continued to benefit from their noble status. Numerous family members occupied important positions such as crusaders and ambassadors to the Pope in Rome; some were even knights.[2] The marriage of Contessina de' Bardi to Cosimo de' Medici around 1415 was a key factor in establishing the House of Medici in power in Florence.[10] Cosimo rewarded the Bardi family for their support, restoring their political rights upon his ascent in 1434.[11] In 1444, he exempted them from paying particular taxes.[11]

Besides banking, the Bardi family were “great patrons of the friars.” Louise of Toulouse (1274-1297), the Franciscan bishop that was canonized in 1317, was very close to the Bardi family. They purchased the chapel that was dedicated to St. Francis. To the right of the altar they built a new, larger chapel and dedicated it to Louise of Toulouse.[12] The Bardi chapel that was dedicated to St. Francis was founded by Ridolfo de Bardi around 1310, the year that his father died and left him with a large inheritance and in charge of the Bardi company. There were other Bardi chapels, such as the one dedicated to St. Lawrence and the Martyrs, and St. Silvestor and the Confessors.[12]

Two important paintings, both called the Bardi Altarpiece, are by Sandro Botticelli (1484-85, now in Berlin), and by Parmigianino, the latter named after the town rather than the family. One of the family palaces in Florence was the Palazzo Busini Bardi.


  1. ^ Guidi-Bruscoli 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Grazia Pernis & Schneider Adams 2008.
  3. ^ Banking in the Middle Ages (1997)
  4. ^ History of Banking /
  5. ^ Banking in the Middle Ages (1997)
  6. ^ Banking in the Middle Ages (1997)
  7. ^ History of Banking
  8. ^ History of Banking
  9. ^ History of Banking
  10. ^ Tomas 2003, p. 16-17.
  11. ^ a b Tomas 2003, p. 17.
  12. ^ a b Cook 2005.


  • Guidi-Bruscoli, F. (2012). "John Cabot and his Italian financiers*". Historical Research. 85 (229): 372–393. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2012.00597.x.
  • Romaniello, Matthew P. (2008). "Lucrezia Tornabuoni de' Medici and the Medici Family in the Fifteenth Century – by Maria Grazia Pernis and Laurie Schneider Adams". The Historian. 70 (2): 389. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.2008.00213_62.x.
  • Cook, William R. (2005), The Art of the Franciscan Order in Italy, Brill Academic Publications, ISBN 9789004131675
  • "History of Banking - Religion and Banking: 12th-13th Century",
  • "Bardi Family",
  • "Banking in the Middle Ages", End of Europe's Middle Ages, Applied History Research Group / University of Calgary, 1997, archived from the original on 2013-12-25, retrieved 16 Dec 2013
  • Tomas, Natalie R. (2003). The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754607771.

Year 1346 (MCCCXLVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. It was a year in the 14th century, in the midst of a period known in European history as the Late Middle Ages. In Asia that year, the Black Plague came to the troops of the Golden Horde Khanate; the disease also affected the Genoese Europeans they were attacking, before spreading to the rest of Europe. In Central and East Asia, there was a series of revolts after Kazan Khan was killed in an uprising, and the Chagatai Khanate began to splinter and fall; several revolts in China began what would eventually lead to the overthrow of the Yuan dynasty. The Indian kingdom of Vijayanagara won several victories over Muslim conquerors in the north in this year as well.

In Eastern Europe, Stefan Dušan was proclaimed Tsar of Serbia on April 16 (Easter Sunday) at Skopje. In the nearby Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman emir Orhan married Byzantine princess Theodora as part of an alliance between her father John VI Kantakouzenos and the Ottomans. Ongoing civil wars in both Bulgaria and Byzantium continued. Denmark sold its portion of Northern Estonia to the Livonian Order of the Teutonic Knights after finally quelling the St. George's Night Uprising. In Central Europe, Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected Roman King on July 11. A number of banking families in Italy, including the Bardi family, faced bankruptcy in this year, and much of Italy suffered a famine. The Hundred Years' War between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of England continued in Western Europe, as Edward III of England led an invasion onto the continent and won a number of victories.


Bardi may refer to:

Bardi (folklore), a shape-changing spirit or a rabid animal in Trebizond folklore

Bardi language, the language of the Bardi people

Bardi, Emilia-Romagna, a city in the province of Parma, northern Italy

Bardi, Iran, a village in Ilam Province, Iran

Bardi, Western Australia, a town in Australia

Bardi bush, an Australian plant, Acacia victoriae

Bardi, an alternative spelling of Baada, an Australian Aboriginal tribe

Barði Jóhannsson (born 1975), Icelandic singer

Mario Bardi (1922–1998), painter

Francesco Bardi (born 1992), footballer

Cardi B, also known as Bardi (born 1992), American rapper

Compagnia dei Bardi

The Compagnia dei Bardi was a Florentine banking and trading company which was started by the Bardi family. The Bardi company was one of three major Florentine banking companies (called "super-companies" by some modern scholars) that assembled large amounts of capital and established wide-ranging, diversified business networks, doing business throughout the Mediterranean and in England. The Bardi traded oil and wine, and had close economic ties to southern Italy and Sicily. Their chief product, however, was high-quality woolen cloth. The Bardi were the largest of these super-companies and seem to have been 50 percent larger than their closest rival, the Peruzzi company.In 1344, at about the same time as the Peruzzi company, the Bardi company went bankrupt and the Florentine writer Giovanni Villani blamed this on the repudiation of war loans by King Edward III of England. However, Villani was not an independent source; his brother was a member of the Peruzzi company that also went bankrupt. Villanni said that Edward owed the Bardi 900,000 gold florins (£135,000) and the Peruzzi 600,000 (£90,000). However, the Peruzzi's records show that they never had that much capital to lend Edward III. Edward did not default on all his loans and repaid some with cash and others with royal grants of wool, a principal export of the English economy at the time.

At the time Florence was going through a period of internal disputes and the third largest financial company, the Acciaiuoli, also went bankrupt and they did not lend any money to Edward. What loans Edward III did default on are likely only to have contributed to the financial problems in Florence, not caused them.

The bankruptcy of the Bardi and Peruzzi companies marked the decline of the medieval super-companies. However, Bardi survived and significantly provided the funds for several of the voyages of discovery to the Americas.

Contessina de' Bardi

Contessina de' Bardi was an Italian noblewoman from the House of Bardi. She was born in 1390 and died in October 1473. Her marriage into the House of Medici provided her husband's family with much needed nobility, prestige, and military support as they established their power in Florence.

Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici, called "the Elder" (Italian: il Vecchio) and posthumously "Father of the Fatherland" (Latin: pater patriae) (27 September 1389 – 1 August 1464), was an Italian banker and politician, the first member of the Medici political dynasty that served as de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. Despite his influence, his power was not absolute; Florence's legislative councils at times resisted his proposals throughout his life, and he was always viewed as primus inter pares ("first among equals") rather than an autocrat. His power derived from his wealth as a banker, and he was a great patron of learning, the arts and architecture.

Florentine painting

Florentine painting or the Florentine School refers to artists in, from, or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in Florence in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of Western painting. Some of the best known painters of the earlier Florentine School are Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, the Ghirlandaio family, Masolino, and Masaccio.

Florence was the birthplace of the High Renaissance, but in the early 16th century the most important artists, including Michelangelo and Raphael were attracted to Rome, where the largest commissions then were. In part this was following the Medici, some of whom became cardinals and even the pope. A similar process affected later Florentine artists. By the Baroque period, the many painters working in Florence were rarely major figures.

History of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia (also known as Mi'kma'ki and Acadia) is a Canadian province located in Canada's Maritimes. In known history, the oldest known residents of the province are the Mi'kmaq people. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the region was claimed by France and a colony formed, primarily made up of Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. This time period involved six wars in which the Mi'kmaq along with the French and some Acadians resisted the British invasion of the region (see the four French and Indian Wars, Father Rale's War and Father Le Loutre's War). During Father Le Loutre's War, the capital was moved from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia to the newly established Halifax, Nova Scotia (1749). The warfare ended with the Burying the Hatchet Ceremony (Nova Scotia) (1761). After the colonial wars, New England Planters and Foreign Protestants immigrated to Nova Scotia. After the American Revolution, Loyalists immigrated to the colony. During the nineteenth century, Nova Scotia became self-governing in 1848 and joined the Canadian Confederation in 1867.

The colonial history of Nova Scotia includes the present-day Canadian Maritime provinces and northern Maine (see Sunbury County, Nova Scotia), all of which were at one time part of Nova Scotia. In 1763 Cape Breton Island and St. John's Island (what is now Prince Edward Island) became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province was established in 1784.

John Cabot

John Cabot (Italian: Giovanni Caboto; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian navigator and explorer. His 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century.

To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot's expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, as representing Cabot's first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed.

List of economic crises

This is a list of economic crisis and depressions.

List of wealthiest families

Various lists of the richest families in the world (excluding royal families or autocratic ruling dynasties) are published internationally, by Forbes as well as other business magazines.

There is a distinction between wealth held by identifiable individual billionaires or a "nuclear family" and the wider notion of a historical "dynasty," where the wealth of a historically family-owned company or business has become distributed between various branches of descendants, usually throughout decades, ranging from several individuals to hundreds of offsprings (such as the Rothschild family). According to Bloomberg, the world's 25 richest families control $1.1 trillion (1,100,000,000,000) of wealth.

Port of Bridgwater

The Port of Bridgwater is a port, originally located in the town of Bridgwater, Somerset, England. Created under an 1845 Act of Parliament, it extends from Brean Down to Hinkley Point in Bridgwater Bay, and parts of the rivers Parrett (to Bridgwater), River Brue and River Axe. Although no ships now dock in the town, in 2001 103,613 (metric) tonnes of cargo were handled within the area of the Port Authority (compared to more than 200,000 tons (approximately equivalent to metric tonnes) in 1878), most of which were stone products through the wharf at Dunball.


Romola (1862–63) is a historical novel by George Eliot set in the fifteenth century, and is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view". The story takes place amidst actual historical events during the Italian Renaissance, and includes in its plot several notable figures from Florentine history.

The novel first appeared in fourteen parts published in Cornhill Magazine from July 1862 (vol. 6, no. 31) to August 1863 (vol. 8, no. 44), and was first published as a book, in three volumes, by Smith, Elder & Co. in 1863.

San Casciano in Val di Pesa

San Casciano in Val di Pesa is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southwest of Florence.

San Casciano in Val di Pesa borders the following municipalities; Greve in Chianti, Impruneta, Montespertoli, Scandicci and

Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.

San Michele a Monteripaldi

San Michele a Monteripaldi is a Roman Catholic church located in the suburban neighborhood of the same name south of the urban center of Florence, Italy.

Sandro Botticelli

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), known as Sandro Botticelli (Italian: [ˈsandro bottiˈtʃɛlli]), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.

As well as the small number of mythological subjects which are his best known works today, he painted a wide range of religious subjects and also some portraits. He and his workshop were especially known for their Madonna and Childs, many in the round tondo shape. Botticelli's best-known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera, both in the Uffizi in Florence. He lived all his life in the same neighbourhood of Florence, with probably his only significant time elsewhere the months he spent painting in Pisa in 1474 and the Sistine Chapel in Rome in 1481–82.Only one of his paintings is dated, though others can be dated from other records with varying degrees of certainty, and the development of his style traced with confidence. He was an independent master for all the 1470s, growing in mastery and reputation, and the 1480s were his most successful decade, when all his large mythological paintings were done, and many of his best Madonnas. By the 1490s his style became more personal and to some extent mannered, and he could be seen as moving in a direction opposite to that of Leonardo da Vinci (seven years his junior) and a new generation of painters creating the High Renaissance style as Botticelli returned in some ways to the Gothic style.

He has been described as "an outsider in the mainstream of Italian painting", who had a limited interest in many of the developments most associated with Quattrocento painting, such as the realistic depiction of human anatomy, perspective, and landscape, and the use of direct borrowings from classical art. His training enabled him to represent all these aspects of painting, without adopting or contributing to their development.


Vernio is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Prato in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Florence and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Prato.

Villa Salviatino, Maiano

The Villa Salviatino, Maiano, in the frazione of Maiano on the steep slope south of Fiesole, is a Tuscan villa overlooking Florence.

A modest farmhouse in the 14th century, set among informally terraced slopes planted with vines and olives, the house in its vigna was purchased in 1427 by the Bardi family, bankers of Florence, who rebuilt it in such palatial fashion that when it was subsequently sold to Nicola Tegliacci in 1447, the new owner named it Palagio (palazzo) dei Tegliacci. In the 16th century it passed to Alamanno Salviati, who had it sumptuously frescoed and furnished; thus it gained its name as the Villa Il Salviatino, to distinguish it from the grander Villa Salviati "le Selve", near Lastra, to the west. The villa was celebrated by Francesco Redi, in his Bacco in Toscana (1685): "viva il nome Del buon Salviati, ed il suo bel Maiano.

For a short period it was owned by the Italian tenor Giovanni Matteo Mario and his wife Giulia Grisi, the transaction was completed by financier N M Rothschild of London, then in 1871 the villa was purchased by Pietro Pagliano, who added a medievalizing crenellated tower, but a new, more sympathetic owner, the American Phelps Thomas, took ownership in 1882 and began a programme of free restoration and aggrandisement, to designs of the antiquarian architect Corinto Corinti (1843–1930). A large central staircase was added and grand cinquecento portals. He reduced the tower, designed a new vaulted porte-cochere for carriages, overhung by a garden, which still exist, and remodelled the park by adding an Italian terraced garden and conservatories, with a pergola that Penelope Hobhouse found to resemble the wooden frames shown in woodcuts for Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Augusto Bruschi was entrusted with decorative painting, covering walls with medieval and neo-cinquecento patterns. After a sale of its contents in 1891 the villa passed into the hands of the Carrega di Lucedio family and then, in 1911, to the art critic, journalist and founder of the art magazine Il Dedalo, Ugo Ojetti and his wife Fernanda, who undertook further structural remodeling, removing many of the 19th century accretions, and installing an extensive library and many paintings and sculptures. From 1973 to 1987 the Villa Il Salviatino housed Stanford University's overseas program Stanford in Italy with classrooms, offices, library, dining facilities, and students' rooms.In the summer, including 1980, University of Michigan and Sara Lawrence College held their summer school program there.

In the first decade of the 21st century the villa was restored and refurbished as a boutique hotel.

Villa di Mondeggi

The Villa di Mondeggi is a villa located south to Florence (Italy), on the territories of the cities of Bagno a Ripoli, Impruneta and Greve in Chianti. Since 2014, the arable land, olive groves and some of the buildings are occupied by a group reclaiming the land to be managed in accordance with the principles of the commons,.

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