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The Buonvisi

The Buonvisi (one of the most ancient and powerful families of Lucca)  known already in the medievil all over the the European courts as Bankers and dealers, owe their fortune to the commerce of the silk and to the management of some banks, subsequently with the discovery of the new world, they expanded also overseas their commerces, becoming all of a sudden, the richest family of Lucca, inside and around the city boundaries, possessed 19 villas. Villa Buonvisi, the principal and only one “Villa Lucchese” inside the boundaries,(walls) known today as “Villa Bottini ”, was built in the XVI century, by Bernardino Buonvisi.
In the early years of the Republic up until the time of Elisa Baciocchi, his components actively participated, in various periods, to the administration of the city and for different years they covered an important role in the Board of the Elderly ones and it was one of their Martin Buonvisi (gonfaloniere and subsequently also ambassador of the republic near the emperor), in 1532 was suffocated in the blood the famous revolt “Degli Straccioni”, in the night between 9 and 10th of April they penetrated into the city through the door of S.Donato with about 600 men of the contado to which some armed citizens were part, defeating and chasing the rebels:
In the history of the family, another character was found involved in a fact of blood, June 1 st 1593, Lelio Buonvisi was killed with 19 stabs, by his wife Lucrezia Malpigli and her lover Massimiliano Arnolfini, who was in turned walled alive in a tower in Viareggio and the wife was
forced to turn into a nun.
In 1568, a nephew of Martin Charles Diodati, born by the marriage of his daughter Ann Buonvisi, with the gonfaloniere Michael Diodati, after having been imprisoned for heresy to Rome from the inquisition and banded from Lucca, fled to Geneva and was sheltered until 1625 when he died a tragic end for one who had as a godfather the Emperor Carlo V ( Before his birth in case he was a male he would take the same name as his godfather) and his baptisim was celebrated by the Pope.
Among the various Buonvisi we also remember: Lawrence Buonvisi, craftsman together with Pietro Cename following the conspiracy in August of 1430 Paul Guinigi will be dismissed from the
Guide of Lucca and also the cardinal Francesco Buonvisi (1626-1700), Pope Innocenzo XI, named him cardinal, after having been apostolic Messenger in Poland and in Austria, after the nomination in 1690 he was transferred to Lucca as archbishop.




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