The Capponi family rose to prominence first as silk then wool traders, before turning their hand to banking. During the Renaissance, Florence became world-renown both for its quality fabrics and for developing the banking system as we know it today, leading to great success for the Capponi family.
The Capponis rose to be quite an illustrious house in Florence.
Piero Capponi (1447-1496) made his name both as statesman, ambassador and soldier. His son however led a movement against the Medici family, resulting in expelling Piero de’ Medici. Capponi became chief, proving quite adept at the role. He was given the role of governmental reformer, however he died in battle against Florence rivals, Pisa, in 1496.
The prominence of the Capponi family continued throughout the centuries.
Nobleman Marquis Pier Roberto Capponi held a high up role under Ferdinand III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
His son, Marquis Gino Capponi (1792-1876) was then granted the position of statesman, whilst also being a passionate historian. For a short period, he even held the prime-ministership, during which time he put his exceptional aptitude for foreign affairs to good use. Although he spent much time and energy on politics, his greatest project was writing the Storia della Repubblica di Firenze, published in 1875 – just one year prior to his death at 84 years of age. The book is considered the first modern tome of its kind and holds much historical relevance to this day. His tomb is in Florence’s Basilica Santa Croce.
During the time of the Medici, the then politically important Capponi family were given the title of “Florentine Patrician”, which is held to this day by historian and author Count Niccolò Capponi. Specialising in military history, with a PhD in history from the University of Padua, he is also a prolific author.
The Capponi family built several important palaces, one of which that is situated in Florence and dates back to the 1400s. Its courtyard is the earliest known example of the Renaissance style layout, whilst internally there is a private library holding numerous invaluable manuscripts, including from Dante and various popes.
Today the family also uses one of the family estates to produce award-winning wines in Tuscany.