Lombard origin, almost certainly from Bergamo, the Miniscalchi
family came to Verona during the years of the Visconti
Founder of the Veronese branch of the family was Zanino:
typical figure of the late middle-ages Italian society,
he was able to associate to the ancestral practice of
trade the foundation and the management of a considerable
In 1407 Zanino Marescalcus, resident in Verona
in the quarter of Saint Benedict - which extended towards
the western part of piazza Erbe and which also included
the present via San Mammaso, where there are
the family palaces - obtained the citizenship of Verona.
His presence in town, therefore, must be dated back
to at least one decade, as the Statutes ordered for
the foreigners who aimed at the citizenship grant.
To the third decade of the XVc. dates back the purchase
from Zanino Miniscalchi of the vicariate of Saint Zeno
in Mozzo nearby Mozzecane, in Veronese territory on
the border with the Mantuan one, followed by other numerous
purchases in the same territory and by conspicuous real
investments in the residence quarter.
In the course of one generation the Miniscalchi family
definitely left the trade, devoting to land investments.
In 1425 it was united to the "Noble Council"
of the town of Verona.
The need to live in a house in accordance with the economic
level acquired and with the relationships contracted
became noticed in Zanino's children, all the more that
one of them, Vianino juniore, got the degree in law,
an unquestionable sign of the social ascent of the family.
The painted facade of the Miniscalchi
palace in via San Mammaso in a
lithograph painted in water-colours by Pietro Nanin
start of the construction of the palace in via San Mammaso
must be dated in the last quarter of the century. The
new building included a preexistent house of the fourteenth
century with ground open gallery, the remains of which
have been brought to light in the porter's lodge of
the today's Museum.
The palace facade was conceived as a solemn wing opened
by a doorway deeply splayed and by eighteen windows:
six ogival single lancet windows and two big tribolate
mullioned windows on the first floor, six ogival single
lancet windows on the second floor, which were covered
with stony hangings.
A little later is the construction of the majestic family
chapel in Saint Anastasia's church: in 1506 Alvise Miniscalchi,
after having discarded the plans of different artists,
such as Liberale da Verona and Giovanni Maria Falconetto,
entrusted the task to Angelo di Giovanni, famous for
his interventions in the yard of the Council Loggia
in piazza dei Signori, in the facade of San Tomaso Cantuariense's
church and in other town churches and almost certainly
author also of the plan for the facade of the Miniscalchi
palace in via San Mammaso.
Chapel Miniscalchi in Saint Anastasia's church in Verona.
times, in the course of centuries, members of the Miniscalchi
family held the first town honours. Many were the prestigious
weddings which linked the family to other remarkable
In particular, we can remember the wedding between Marcantonio
Miniscalchi and Teresa Moscardo (1785), who brought
as a dowry, among other things, part of the ancestral
home "Museum" put together by Ludovico Moscardo
(Verona, 1611-1681), the major learned man of Verona
during the seventeenth century.
Historically even more important was the wedding of
Luigi Miniscalchi, Marcantonio's son, who in 1808 married
Marianna Erizzo, one of the three last descendants of
the Venice doge family. Of this marriage was born Francesco,
remarkable man for his cultural interests and political
activity. Member of Parliament was also his son Marcantonio
Abdallah (1844-1906), who was wounded during the Second
war of Independence, fighting in the lines of the Sardinian
With his children Franco (1879-1919), Mario (1881-1957),
Emilio (1885-1971) and Erminia (1891-1958), who respectively
disappeared in Washington, in Verona, in Santiago of
Chile and in Chambèry, the Miniscalchi-Erizzo
family has come to an end in direct male line.
Coat-of-arms of the Miniscalchi-Erizzo family.
coat-of-arms, in heraldic words, can be described as
a divided coat-of-arms: the first in silver with burning
bramble, surrounded by three bands of green ivy; the
second, bright blue coloured, with a golden band loaded
with a porcupine and the letter E, black coloured, in
the direction of the band; surrounded by earl's coronet.