Onofrio Scotti Douglas

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Onofrio Scotti, or Onorio Scotti, was a member of the Sarmato family.

He was the Son of Ulderico Scotti Douglas, Comte de Sarmato(1) and Contessina Nerli, who died in 1570.

In 1555 Onofrio Scotti was active (as a soldier?) in the Piedmont area of France.
In February 1561, he was in Piacenza for a joust organized by the Duke of Parma and Piacenza Ottavio Farnese.
At about this time, he was Governor of Treviso, in the Veneto region of northern Italy.
In the winter of 1574, he offers to move to the rescue of Famagusta, attacked by the troops of Sultan Selim, with 1000 infantry and 300 adventurers: he embarks at Candia; the fleet is lost in a storm so he cannot reach Cyprus. With the fall of the island into the power of the Turks, John of Austria reached Messina. He is with the fleet in Longo and rescues Tenedos twice. At his own expense he arms a fusta and a frigate which he uses for the war against his adversaries: at one time these ships seize 7 Ottoman vessels, loaded with merchandise and wheat, which are all taken to Candia.
He is next found in Corfu with Pietro Avogadro and Battistino Moretto.
A year later, he is sent by the Senate to Albania with 1500 infantry as governor general. Another 500 infantry are granted to his son Olderico.
In 1580, 'He follows' the strengthening works of the castle of Brescia, Lombardy, and in 1584, 'He elaborates' a project always linked to the strengthening of the defenses of the castle of Brescia.
At the signing of peace with the Turks in 1586 in Montenegro, the Venetians placed him first in charge of the government of Cattaro and then of Budua.
In 1587, he is found in Bergamo, Lombardy, where the following year, he has the role of governor of the castle of Brescia. A commission has been set up to choose the best project for the renovation of the city castle. In addition to Scotti, it includes the rectors of the city Alvise Grimani and Zaccaria Contarini, Giulio Savorgnano, Giambattista del Monte a Santa Maria, the governor of Bergamo Raffaele Rasponi and the engineers Giambattista Bonhomo, Paolo Ferrari and Bonaiuto Lorini.
In 1593, as a General infantry captain, he is busy in Palmanova, Fruili, for the foundation of the fortress. He will soon abandon his work because he is destined to return to the Levant. He was also active in the planning of the fortifications of Corfu.
He died in the middle of December 1602. He pushes the Paduan engineer Angelo degli Oddi to compose the work "Viaggi delle Province di mare della lordship of Venice", tables of cities, forts, ports, redoubts and islands of Candia, Istria, Dalmatia, Levante, Calabria and Marche (Ancona). This work is dedicated to him by the author.

He married Caterina Sforza, daughter of Alessandro Ippolito Sforza, Conte di Borgonuova (1488-1545).  They had at least two sons, Alfonso Scotti Douglas, who died in 1616, and Olderico, mentioned above..

Alfonso married in 1601 to Cornelia Boccabarili †1611 (Parents : Giulio Boccabarili † & Costanza della Veggiola, Contessa di Piozzano †). They had a daughter, Costanza Scotti Douglas. She married in 1626 Girolamo Pio Scotti Douglas, Conte di Fombio †1658

Castello di Rivalta

The Rivalta castle is an imposing fortified complex located in Rivalta, a hamlet of the Italian municipality of Gazzola, in the province of Piacenza.

Located on a steep escarpment (high bank) overlooking the bank of the Trebbia river, it has a slightly elevated position but which allows for a broad overview of the riverbed, which is very wide at this point, and the surrounding countryside. The castle of Rivalta, together with that of Statto and the castles of Montechiaro and Rivergaro, located on the opposite bank of the Trebbia, located on the slopes of the first hills, where the river, nestled between the mountains to the south, begins to flow into the Po Valley ; they controlled access to the Trebbia valley of the Caminus Genue, once an important communication route with the Genoese area and, therefore, the sea.

The castle is part of the Association of Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Pontremoli.

The first certain information on the history of the Rivalta castle is reported in a division deed of 1025. Subsequently, Emperor Henry II donated part of it to the Benedictine monastery of San Savino di Piacenza in 1048. In the following century the main events that involved it were sieges, destructions and the succession of different owners.

Rivalta then became the property of the powerful Malaspina family. In the following century, the papacy and the empire competed for the fiefdom and in 1255 the Marquis Oberto Pallavicino, a fierce enemy of the Guelphs, ordered the destruction of the fortified complexes linked to the Church.

Rivalta was also included in the list. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the castle of Rivalta appears in documents as the property of Obizzo Landi known as Verzuso, belonging to the Landi of Cerreto. Since then, the castle and village, enclosed by a protective wall, have followed the events and destiny of the Landi family.

In 1808 the branch of the Landi family, counts of Rivalta and marquises of Gambaro became extinct; possession of the castle then passed to the Landi branch of the counts of Caselle and marquises of Chiavenna. In the last years of the 19th century the building was bought by Count Carlo Zanardi Landi of Veano, subsequently remaining in the property of his heirs. In the second half of the 20th century, the castle and the village, chosen by the Zanardi Landi family as their residence, underwent restoration work aimed at recovering the medieval structures.

Since the mid-1900s, the family of the Zanardi Landi counts , who have come to reside here again, have happily committed themselves to the recovery of the village and the castle. The buildings have all been restored; today they present themselves as modern and functional structures, despite having maintained their original appearance where possible.

Inside, the presence of a 25 m long hall of honor built during the fifteenth century and equipped with a large fireplace, the internal chapel, which features Baroque-style decorations and the library, which contains a series of engravings representing some famous Italian and European painters. The interior also houses the permanent museum of military costume, where, among others, two banners originally displayed on the flagpoles of boats engaged in the Battle of Lepanto bearing the coat of arms of the Scotti di Sarmato who took part in the dispute in support of Duke Alessandro Farnese are preserved, and the parish museum.

The Battle of Lepanto

On 7 October 1571 the fleets of the Holy League (a coalition of European states) and those of the Ottoman Empire clashed in the current Gulf of Corinth, known at the time as the Gulf of Lepanto. The Battle of Lepanto was one of the last fought on rowing boats, the galleys.

Three of the original banners that flew on the war galleys of the Scotti family - ancestors of the Zanardi Landi - during the clash in which the Christians defeated the Turks, despite the numerical prevalence of the latter's ships, are - together with eleven small flags dating back to the same battle - the rare and precious testimonies of the military past exhibited in the Rivalta Castle museum. This is highlighted by the magazine "Radici Cristiane", a monthly magazine that refers to the perennial values ​​of European and Western civilization.

Until now, writes Mauro Faverzani in the April issue, it was known that the Scotti family was present at the battle of Lepanto with their ships and their banners. Thanks to the research conducted by Count Orazio Zanardi Landi and supported in the pages of Andrea Morosini's volume entitled Storia della Repubblica Veneziana (1782), the names have been identified: it is Onorio Scotti who embarked with 600 soldiers on the ships, which were in Lepanto in 1571 and Paolo Emilio Scotti, count of Sarmato, probably present in Lepanto in the contingent of his cousin Honorius.

The standards were left by the great-grandmother of Count Orazio Zanardi Landi: the family tree explains how after her the Scotti di Sarmato family merged into the Zanardi Landi family.


• “Having wielded arms for a long time in Piedmont and France with large salaries, he acquired illustrious titles of glory... in whose person is the birthright... of the whole family as well..., but also the first place in honors and in the militia.” SANSOVINO

• “Paolo Paruta in his “Della Historia Vinitiana” within the “index of notable things”, describes Onorio Scotti as Captain of the Rescue of the Republic of Venice in Famagusta.” MENNELLA

• “He was a subject so well known to your Excellencies for many years of service with this Most Serene Republic.” From a report to the Senate by the superintendent Alvise Priuli reported by MENNELLA "

• “Not particularly practicing with some of those Avogardesca and Martinenga factions, but only walking with the very clear rectors.” From a report to the Senate by Captain Francesco Duodo reported by MENCHETTI

1.  Ulderico was the son of Gian Stefano Scotti Douglas, Conte di Sarmato, who died after 1527 and his wife, Giustina Tedaldi.
Gian Stefan was the great grandson of Alberto Scotti Douglas, Conte di Castell'Arquato, di Fiorenzuola and di Vigoleno (1414), Conte di Carpaneto, di Chero, di Fontanafredda and di Sarmato (1441)

Landi family and Scotti family connections

On the basis of inductions based on documents (Galvano, son of Ubertino, captured by Charles of Anjou in 1266 in the battle of Benevento and married in 1280, after 14 years of imprisonment, with Marsignina Scotti, must have been born around 1240-50) Ubertino would have been born around 1220, at the time in which his grandfather William I was already the owner of most of the assets in Val Taro.

The conflict between Ubertino and the Municipality of Piacenza reignited after 1280, when the city found itself under the influence of the Guelph Alberto Scotti, a new peace was reached in 1291 which, among the various clauses, provided that Landi ceded the his fortress of Zavattarello, obtaining 8000 imperial lire in exchange. Ubertino died in 1298. From his marriage to Isabella he had Corrado and Galvano (as well as his daughter Bianca, a nun in Pavia), but Galvano alone returned to Piacenza in 1280 from captivity, having been captured together with his brother in 1266 in Benevento by Charles of Anjou, as has already been said; in his second marriage Ubertino married Adelasia, perhaps belonging to the Sannazzaro family of Pavia, with whom he had no children. Galvano Landi in 1296 received various properties in Sicily as a gift from the king of Sicily (who claimed to be his relative), in Val di Noto; he predeceased his father probably in 1297.

From Marsignina Scotti, Galvano had several children, among whom we remember Ubertino II, perhaps husband of Caterina Beccaria, who in 1312 obtained from Emperor Henry VI confirmation of the feudal investiture for his lands of Borgotaro, Bardi and Compiano, and who died without children in 1314, as well as Corrado and Manfredo, who in 1314 was created a knight and on 13 July 1327 obtained confirmation of the investiture for the castles of Valtidone from the emperor Louis the Bavarian, while on 22 July 1337 he was invested by emperor of the fiefdom of Zavattarello.

In the meantime, that is, on 26 October 1328, Barnabò, belonging to another line of the family, was invested, again by Emperor Louis the Bavarian, with the castles of Centenaro and Carpadasco. Of Gawain's sons, only Corrado had descendants: husband of Violante, he was the father of the knight Corrado, who died without offspring, as well as of Gawain and Manfredo. Galvano, a knight, married first Giovanna Scotti and then Margherita Oderisi, from whom Violante was born, married to Giovanni Suardi of Bergamo and Bianca married to Count Rinaldo Persico; he tested in 1339 and died in 1357.

See also:
•  Douglas Scotti of Sarmato

For more on the Douglas Scotti families of Italy, see our Italy portal.

Research notes:
•  The following has yet to be fact checked/verified and is included here for future research purposes:
Onofrio Scotti was an Italian condottiero who lived during the 15th century. He was born in Milan in 1416 and became a soldier at a young age. Scotti fought in several battles and became known for his bravery and military skills. In 1447, he was hired by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, to fight against Venice. Scotti played a crucial role in the battle of Caravaggio, where he led the charge that broke the Venetian lines. He also fought in the battle of Fornovo, where he commanded a group of cavalry that helped secure the victory for the Milanese army. Scotti's military career continued under the reign of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the son of Francesco. He fought in several campaigns in Italy and was appointed as captain of the Milanese army in 1471. However, Scotti's loyalty to the Sforza family was put to the test when Ludovico Sforza, the uncle of Galeazzo Maria, seized power in Milan. Scotti refused to support Ludovico and was imprisoned for a short period as a result. After his release, Scotti retired from military service and spent the rest of his life in his hometown of Milan. He died in 1485.



Sources for this article include:
  • Roberto Damiani, author of the Condottieri di ventura website
  • www.castellodirivalta.it
  • Carmen Artocchini, Castelli Piacentini, Piacenza
  • Cicogna Mozzoni genealogy and related families

  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted


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    Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024