The Family

“… Progenitor would have been Guido, Viscount of Valpolcevera, who arrived in Liguria in 971, following the Emperor Ottone I and a father of seven children, of which Oberto and Ido built the church of Nostra Signora delle Vigne…..from Oberto, Belo Viscount was born, in turn father of Guido and Oberto…Guido, direct ascendant of our Spinola family, assumed the surname being lord of Monte Spinola of the Marquisate of Varzi”.

Text taken from “Palazzo Doria Spinola” edited by Roberto Santamaria, 2011 Le Mani – Microart’s editions, Recco (GE)

Considered the progenitor of the lineage (domus Guidonis Spinule), Guido Spinola, is never indicated in the documents that we have at our disposal as vicecomes (Viscount). However, he was the Consul of the “Compagna” in the years 1102- 1105, 1110- 1113,1120- 1121. He had links with the Archiepiscopal Curia: he was in fact part of the nobiles obliged to “facere fidelitatem” (oath of loyalty) to the Bishop, on behalf of which he held the levying of certain rights of decimation.

Immagine di testa:
Family tree of the Spinola Family with the miniature by Guido, Viscount of Val Polcevera, ancestor of Guido Spinola, 16th century parchment manuscript.

State Archives of Genoa,
manuscripts library 174

The past

The Genoese families

The Spinola family is one of the oldest and most important families in Genoa, together with the D’Oria, the Fieschi of Lavagna and the Grimaldi family and was one of the four families that marked the political life of the Republic of Genoa.

The history of the Spinola family is intertwined with the history of Genoa. An ancient town of the Ligures, Genoa flourished under Roman rule before falling into comparative obscurity. In the 11th century, the development of maritime trade led Genoa to establish itself as a free commune governed by a spontaneous aggregation of citizens (the “Compagna”) that was responsible for supplying arms, capital or work to the community. This generated a ruling class of both aristocratic and feudal and mercantile origin.

17th century
The Marinara Republic

In the 11th century, Genoa had become a powerful and rich Maritime Republic able to rival Pisa and Venice. The participation in the first Crusade in 1097 and 1100 earned it considerable commercial privileges and possessions in the new Crusader States of the near East. With the strengthening of the “Compagna”, the city centre was divided into eight districts and the palaces adorned with porticoes to better delimit each area. The districts were under the protection of the dominant families, including the Doria, Spinola, Fieschi, Grimaldi. It was also a period characterized by the continuous political struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines.

In 1270, the nobles Oberto Doria and Oberto Spinola, representatives of the most important Ghibelline families, were appointed Captains of the people and, in fact, governors of the city. In this period, the Genoese won great and famous victories in naval battles against the Pisans (Battle of Meloria, 1284) and the Venetians (Battle of Curzola, 1298). Despite the internal struggles, Genoa carried out an intense and profitable commercial activity from which both the ruling families and the population in general benefited. The executive power was entrusted to the Consuls, elected by popular assemblies.

17th, 18th century
Genoa commercial and maritime power

During the 12th and 13th centuries, Genoa played a primary role as a commercial and maritime force. Sea trade was the main activity, with the development of the banking and shipbuilding sectors. The Republic extended its influence to the whole of Liguria, most of Corsica and north of Sardinia, founding, thanks to its participation in the Crusades, commercial colonies along the whole Mediterranean coast.

The political structure of the Republic underwent an evolution and, in 1339, the first Doge was elected to rule the city with the support of several aristocratic families Initially, the Doges were elected for life. After a period of invasions from Milan, France and Spain, Genoa was forced to cede many of its overseas possessions, the new Constitution of 1528 entrusted the government to a two-year Doge. In 1596 Father Carlo Spinola went to Japan as a missionary.

17th, 18th century
In the Spanish orbit

At the time of the reform carried out by Andrea Doria, the Spinola became one of the 28 “Alberghi” (polical factions) in the Republic of Genoa to which other families were officially invited to join. Between 1528 and 1797 there were many Spinola between the Doges and Cardinals of the Holy Roman Empire. Genoa entered the Spanish orbit and this allowed its commercial expansion into the Spanish possessions of the New World. The Genoese became the bankers of the Spanish monarchy. In 1625, Ambrose Spinola, in the service of the Spanish Crown, reached the height of his military career with the takeover of the city of Breda. The surrender of this city was immortalized in a famous painting by Velasquez.

The economic recovery of the 16th and 17th centuries determined the arrival in Genoa of many important artists including Rubens and Van Dyck (see portraits of the Spinola family) and the affirmation of the Genoese Baroque style (see Church of San Luca). The decay of Spanish power resulted in the decline of the main families. In 1768, Genoa had to cede Corsica to France, the last of its possessions. In 1797, the French military pressure caused the crumbling of aristocratic power and the establishment of the Ligurian Republic. In 1806, Massimiliano Spinola published the first of his important treatises of entomology. In the 18th century, the Fondazione of the Nobile Family Spinola was founded to help the poor in the parish of San Luca, a historic district of the Spinola family’s residences.

In 1805, the Ligurian Republic was annexd to the French Empire. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815 it passed on to the House of Savoy and in 1861 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

The Family Today: Arte, Culture, Economy

Today the family meets on the occasion of the Spinola Foundation Assembly, as in the Middle Ages when the Spinola agreed on political and financial issues related to the city of Genoa

All members of the Spinola family, descendants of the San Luca branch and the Luccoli branch, have the opportunity to become members of the Spinola Foundation Assembly. The Foundation is administered by a Foundation Board composed of five members appointed by the Assembly, presided over by the Governor major and two members of the Curia of Genoa, including the parish priest pro tempore of the Church of San Luca.

The Foundation plays the role of representative of the Spinola Family in the city of Genoa, since almost all the family has chosen new residences, more favourable to their professional needs, thus maintaining the international vocation that has always distinguished it. The Spinola family, while being active elsewhere as journalists, company managers, interior decorators, tour operators, winemakers, farm owners, feel their affiliation to the city of Genoa very strongly.

Andrea Spinola

Andrea Spinola is an entrepreneur with a great love for earth and nature, in particular for its most precious fruits, like grapes Andrea has managed to transform his passion into a successful activity, founding the winery Marchese Luca Spinola, which uses the name of his father, owner of the ancient vineyards that the family has owned for centuries in the area of Tassarolo, Italy.

Born in 1975, he studied and lived in Milan, until in 2006 when he decided to leave his career in a large multinational company to return to his origins, in the Piedmontese territory where he spent his childhood and which he never stopped loving.

Over the years he developed a company that produces a Cortese of Gavi which is appreciated all over the world and that for over 10 years has managed to export thousands of bottles, from the United States to Japan and through Europe, appreciated for its transversal taste suitable for international as well as Eastern cuisine.

In 2015, the youngest generations of the Spinola family – his wife Nora and his three sons Carlo, Massimiliano and Ludovico – moved to Tassarolo, to “breathe the scent of this land, Grow with its flavours and fully feel the depth of our family’s roots in the Gavi”.


Carlo Maria Spinola​

Strategic and international m&a skills acquired in the Supervisory Dept. of the Bank of Italy. Management experience in the Bank of San Paolo and Chiomenti corporate law firm.
Corporate advisor focused on internationalization and cross-border M&A , JVs and partnerships.
Specialties: Cross-border M&A, International JVs and partnerships, fund raising, Business Plan & Control.
Managing Director
CVS Partners Corporate Finance
June 2006 – Present, Rome
CVS Partners is a corporate finance boutique focused on cross-border M&A, corporate internazionalization (JVs, partnerships, distribution agreements, licensings …), fund raising.
General Manager
Chiomenti Legal Studio
January 2002 – July 2005 (3 years 7 months)
Administration, Business Planning and Control, HR, IT, Public Relations.
Managing Director East Gate S.p.A.
December 1996 – June 2000 (3 years 7 months) Milan, Hong Kong, Shenzen
Co-founder of the start up, fund raising, trade financing, business planning, business development.


Enrico Spinola

Enrico Spinola, son of Oberto and Maria Teresa Pallavicino, he graduated in Engineering at the Polytechnical Istitute in Turin. He then spent 5 years at Enel. At first as the head of a project for the distribution of electricity in north-west Italy, then of a five-year plan to prepare the company for privatization and the restructuring of state services.

In 1997 he joined Richmont Investment Management LLC Dallas, Texas, the family asset management company of the Mary Kay family.

In 2001 he relocated to Geneva, where, together with his brother Luca, he oversees industrial and financial investments. With his wife Benedetta, he has four children: Federica, Matteo, Gregorio and Camilla.


Federico Spinola

Federico Spinola has more than 30 years experience in investment supervision across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. After a career which started working for Martini & Rossi, in 1986 he moved to Argentina to administer farms. On his return to Geneva in1993, he founded the Parly Company SA, an international investment consulting firm. His primary concern is to see the city of Genoa maintain an active role in the economic and social values of the new century.

Active in several international non-profit organizations, he participated in the creation of the Alliance for Rabies Control. He established the Marwar Trust, an organization dedicated to controlling the Canine population and Rabies in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, North India; He is also co-founder of the World Animal Forum (WAF), the annual meeting of the General Directors of the 8 most important animal protection associations in the world.
He has been the President of Milano Musica and member of the boards of musical associations such as the Mozarteum Argentino, the Mozarteum de Jujuy, the De Sono Association for Music, the Music Union of Turin and he is currently on the board of the Academy of Music of Pinerolo.


Fiorbellina Spinola​

She was born on June 5, 1966 in Rome, where she lived for part of her life with the exception of the times in her childhood when she followed her father to Libya, Tunisia and Turkey for work purposes. She attended the Sacred heart Language School, Trinita de’ Monti, and after her graduation she spent a year in Oxford, where she obtained the diploma of Proficiency of Cambridge.. After returning to Italy, she enrolled as a private student at the Agricultural School where she obtained a second high school diploma. She began working at the Semenzato Auction house at the Spanish steps (Piazza di Spagna) Rome , then at the Flammini Group as the head of the International Office and the contracts with race tracks for the organization of the World Superbike and Formula 1 Moto GP. In 1992, she left Flammini to take care of the family farm, helping her father manage the vineyard and fields. In 1995 the agritourism was inaugurated, for which she had always been fully in charge. In 2006, the whole family farm went to her officially.


Franca Spinola

She graduated in medicine in 1968 and from 1968 to 1970 she was an assistant at the Catholic University of Rome, A. Gemelli. She has always collaborated with her mother, Maria Concetta Giutini Spinola, appointed “Cavaliere del Lavoro” in 1973, in the management of the agricultural farm of La Parrina.

Tenuta La Parrina, is one of the oldest and most charming farms in the Tuscan Maremma regione.

In June 1993, she was appointed “Cavaliere del Lavoro” and today runs the farm, in the municipality of Orbetello (Italy), consisting of about 428 hectares of land, of which 150 are cedar woods and the remaining vineyards, olive groves and orchards. The farm is equipped with a modern cellar, with a capacity of 13.000 hectoliters, where it produces Parrina doc, Ansonica doc and Capalbio doc wines, well known to national and foreign markets. Its cultivation of fruit species such as nectarine peaches and kiwi is at the forefront. It also excels in the production of sheep and goat cheeses and in nursery gardening In 1999 it extended its activity to include the agricultural tourism sector. She was President of the Grosseto Chamber of Commerce and member of the Board of Directors of the Association of fruit and vegetables Producers.


Giandomenico Spinola

Giandomenico Spinola was born in Roma on 20 Novembre 1959.

He obtained a Degree in Literature in 1984 from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, discussing a thesis in Classical Archeology and, in 1987, from the same university, he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in the History of Ancient Art of the National School of Archaeology. From 1993 he worked in the Vatican Museums, initially as curator of the Department of Antiquities and Paleochristian Art and of the Pio Cristiano Museum, then from 2006 he became curator of the Department of Classical Art and from 2009 he was appointed head of the Department of Archeology of the Vatican Museums. He has excavated in Libya (Cirene) and in many Italian archaeological sites, especially in Rome, since 1979. He currently directs the excavations of the necropolis along the Via Triumphalis in the Vatican City and coordinates the archaeological investigations in the areas under the basilicas of S. Giovanni in Laterano and S. Maria Maggiore as well as in the villa of Domiziano in Castel Gandolfo.

Over the years he has held various conferences and exhibitions in the Vatican, Italy and abroad. Since 2013 he has been a correspondent member of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Rome.


He has written many articles and essays – scientific and informative – in specialist and information journals, along with several books, such as the following

  • Etruschi nell’alto Lazio (Etruscans in Upper Lazio).. Itineraries for Student Tourism, Rome 1988, pp. 13-159 , editing of the text of the series “Quaderni di Partire” on behalf of C.T.S. and the Lazio Region.
  • Il Congiarium in età imperiale (The Congiarium in the imperial age). Iconographic and topographical aspects, Rome 1990 [Supplement to the Journal of Archeology, 6].
  • The sculptures in Palazzo Albertoni Spinola in Rome and the Paluzzi and Altieri Collections, Rome 1995.
  • The Pio-Clementino Museum. 1, 2, 3. The Eastern section of Belvedere, the Octagon Courtyard and the Animal Room, Vatican City 1996, 1999, 2004.
  • G. Spinola [ed .], Splendors of Christmas. Images of the Birth of Christ from the Vatican Museums, New Haven (Connecticut) 2001.
  • Vatican. The ancient mosaics, (with P. Liverani), Milan 2002
  • Vatican. The Animal Room in the Pio Clementino Museum, (with P. Liverani), Milan 2003..
  • P. Liverani, G. Spinola, M. Takanashi [edd .], Vixerunt omnes Romani ex Imaginibus. Roman portraits from the Vatican Museums, Tokyo 2004 (Tokyo 2005 edition).
  • The Vatican necropolis along the Via Trionfale (with P. Liverani) Rome 2006..
  • The Vatican Necropolis. The city of the dead of Rome. (Monumental Vatican Selecta), (with P. Liverani and contribution by P. Zander) Milan 2010.

Luca Spinola​

Luca Spinola, a graduate in Business and Economics from the University of Turin, is now President of Cersus Services S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland.

Together with his brother Enrico, he deals with industrial and financial investments.

With his wife Elena, he has a son, Oberto Carlo, born on 11/4/1997


Luigi Spinola

When he can, he enjoys many activities, from copy writing to political communications.

Born in Santiago de Chile in September ‘73, Luigi Spinola spent his childhood in France, Belgium, Canada and Jerusalem, convinced that he would be an artist when he grew up. At the age of twenty ,while in Paris, he discovered that perhaps it was better not to. He works at the United Nations in Vienna and New York, where he organizes the World Television Forum on behalf of the RAI. He worked in television as an author for the documentary of the program “Il Filo d’Arianna” and wrote, together with Vincenzo Cerami, the screenplay of “La Fabbrica di Dio”, a film that was broadcast in world premiere in Saint Peter’s Square in the presence of John Paul II.
In search of a more definite profession, he was chosen as a summer replacement to conduct Radio3Mondo’s RadioRai3 program. Two months later, on 11 September 2001, they put him on live for eight hours straight. He became a professional journalist, moving between radio, TV and printed media, always and only working on international themes. In February 2008 he was entrusted with the Foreign editorial staff of the newspaper “Il Riformista”, position which he held until the closing of the newspaper, in April 2012. In June 2011, he was selected by the U.S. State Department for the International Visitor Leadership Program. He still conducts Radio3Mondo two weeks a month (6.50 foreign press review – 1130 in-depth). He also follows, from Rome, the Italian and Mediterranean news for pan-European television Euronews and collaborates with various publications, both printed and on-line.

Video with the interview done in July 2012 for Euronews with the italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi


Marina Spinola

She was born in Santiago de Chile in July 1971, and spent her childhood and adolescence between France, Belgium and Canada with a few intervals in Italy. After obtaining her Baccalaureate at the Chateaubriand High School in Rome in 1990, she moved to London where in 1996 she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Philosophy at King’s College at the University of London. In 1996 she returned to Italy and began to collaborate with the foreign office of the National Association of the Film and audiovisual Industry. She promoted Italian cinema at international festivals and markets. She subsequently collaborated on a few film promotion projects including those for the Cinecitta Holding and the EU Media Program. In 1999 she began to collaborate with various production companies, including Medusa Film, in the reading and evaluation of screenplays. From 2004 to 2006, she consulted for RAI projects such as the organization of a documentary film festival in Syracuse, Sicily. In 2007 the idea of creating an internet platform for the secure streaming of audiovisual content was born. The idea takes shape together with Marco Fiorentino, who has a degree in Engineering from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Harvard Business School, he is also a shareholder and AD of Kpnqwest Italia, a Milanese telecommunications company. The project is long and laborious and the site was online in beta in may 2010 and in its final version in november 2011. wins the award for the best on-line service awarded by an International Jury on Friday, June 1, 2012 at the Digital experience Festival in Turin.


Massimiliana Spinola​

Daughter of the film director and also producer of wine, Paolo Spinola, she graduated in Genoa in Literature and Philosophy with a major in fine arts and at the age of 26, went to work in New York in the world of contemporary art. After working in galleries and museums, she moved to London where she finished a Master in Fine Arts and continued her work as an artist with photographs, paintings and installations. During these years she also followed the Viticultural family farm “Castello di Tassarolo” as regards to marketing and vinification and in March 2005, she moved to Tassarolo (Italy) in the GAVI area to dedicate her attention to wine. She then founded a kindergarten and an elementary school using the whole-child theory approach, (Steinerian method), where children learn, each according to their own individuality and rhythm, immersed in the surrounding nature.

A lover of nature and sensitive to the problems of the environment and of the quality of food, she converted the whole farm “Castello di Tassarolo” into a Biodynamic direction according to Rudolf Steiner’s dictates, producing only CERTIFIED ORGANIC wines. She also began a long experimentation on wine that lead to the creation of wines without added sulphites – therefore 100% natural – of high quality: The first in Italy. For the first time in Italy she also introduced, together with her partner and companion Henry Finzi-Constantine, Comtois French draft horses to work the vineyard, founding a school where it is possible to learn to work the land using horses. .