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La Sala del Podestà

Description of the Sala del Podestà

In the second half of the XVI century, the feudatory holder of the “borgo insigne” (eminent village) of Soresina, who had received the investiture from the King of Spain, benefited from remarkable judicial privileges related to specific institutional obligations ; some obligations were the concern of the feudatory himself, some others were of the “Comunità” that is of the administrative organism composed of a fixed number of citizens of Soresina, chosen among the richest families of the village.

The most important privilege of the feudatory was the administration of justice according to the legal powers shown in the formula “ Merum ac mistum imperium ac potestas gladii” that is “The power to judge in criminal and civil trials and to impose penalties even by a sword. (The death sentence-penalty or the mutilation of part of the body were never imposed in Soresina )

The feudatory exerted Justice in his feud through the “Podestà- Judge” who was a man of law chosen by the feudatory in a list of judges approved by the Senate of Milan.

He kept his office for two years and could be reconfirmed on the approval of the Community, who offered him the house next to the offices of the “Podestaria” and allowed him an adequate salary every month.

In 1578 Camillo Barbò obtained the investiture of the feud of Soresina; his father Lodovico had obtained for him the purchase of the relevant rights from the former feudatories Cosimo and Cesare Affaitati, distantly related to him and grandsons of the very rich man Giovan Carlo Affaitati, from Cremona,, past feudatory of Soresina, confidant of the emperor Charles V, and then baron of Giustelles in the Flanders, where he died in 1555.

After he married the noblewoman from Brescia Giulia Caprioli, Camillo Barbò “Signore di Soresina”( Feudal Lord of Soresina) engaged himself in the promotion of the economic development of his feud, encouraged the construction of several religious and public buildings and also restored the palace belonging to his family. The palace could be reached from a lane located on the south side of the district called “ della Madonnina, almost opposite the quarter Belfiore ( at present via Martiri).
In the first years of 1600 the feudatory wanted the official seat of the Podestà – Judge to be transferred in a reception room of his wide house ; the room was adorned with some remarkable frescoes and with a grand fireplace, decorated with the unified coats of arms of the noble families Barbò and Caprioli.
Until that time the seat had been at the offices of the “Podestaria”, in a small palace lying behind the building on the North side of Piazza Maggiore.

Camillo Barbò suddenly died in Cremona, where he had gone to visit some relatives, on September 5th ,1604 at the age of 55. His son Lodovico inherited the feud and in 1609 the Spanish Government allowed him to assume the title of “Marchese di Soresina”( Marquis of Soresina) which the father had required for himself with a rich and punctual documentation.

Appunti di Roberto Cabrini


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