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House of Paternò

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The House of Paternò is a Sicilian princely family and is one of the most ancient lineages of Italian aristocracy. It was founded in the 11th century and is one of only four Sicilian families with over 1,000 years of history.[1] The family has also a particular ancestry, descending from three sovereign and royal houses. According to tradition, its founder Robert of Embrun was a member of the House of Barcelona (Kings of Aragon).[2][3] Through matrilineality, the family also descends from the Houses of Hauteville[4] (Kings of Sicily), and, supposedly, that of Provence[5][6] (Kings of Italy,[7] who, in turn, also descended from the Carolingians[8], once Kings of the Franks). These ancestral blood ties enable the Paternò family to trace their lineage back to before the 8th century.

Several Paternò family members have risen to eminence over the centuries, holding positions such as Viceroys,[9] Presidents of the Kingdom,[10] Strategos of Messina[10] (second-highest office in the Kingdom of Sicily), Vicars General of the Kingdom,[11] Senators,[11] Ambassadors to Kings and Popes,[11] Cardinals,[11] influential patrons,[12] prominent politicians, and knights who have fought in several battles (from Aachen to Tunis, from Flanders to Malta, within the territories of Sicily and Naples,[13] and at Lepanto[14]).

Over the course of its history, the House of Paternò possessed more than 170 main fiefs (including principalities, duchies etc.) and had the privilege of "mero et mixto imperio"[15] over forty-eight of them.[16] In the House of Nobility of Catania,[17] indirectly the governing body of the city, the Paternò were the family with the oldest lineage, granting them authority to exclude any individuals they did not favor.[2] Additionally, in Spain, the Paternò were exempt from imprisonment or punishment, except in cases of blasphemy against God or treason against the King.[18] At the end of the feudal era in the 19th century, the family retained extensive landholdings of more than "80,000 hectares" and the right to hold "five hereditary seats in the Sicilian Parliament." This exceeded the holdings of any other family in both the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.[19] The family also possessed "twelve cities and lands in vassalage," with approximately "20,000 subjects, twenty-six fiefs with mero et mixto imperio, and a multitude of allodial fiefs and various properties such as estates, villas, and palaces."[20][21]

Members of the Paternò family have achieved honours and titles as well as being vested with the highest ranks of ancient chivalry, including the Knights of the Military Belt (an order founded by Roger I of Sicily), Knights of the Golden Spur,[22] Knights of the Order of St. James of Santiago,[23] and Knights of the I.R.O. of Saint Januarius. They have also been decorated with the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation[24] and due to their multiple tenures as Pretors of Palermo, they are also Grandees of Spain by right.[25] The family has been associated with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since the early 15th century,[26] providing a Lieutenant of the Grand Master,[27] a Grand Chancellor,[28] three Grand Priories[29] and a significant number of Knights and Dames.[30][31]

Main Hall of the Palace Paternò Castello of Biscari

The Paternò family owns or has owned a series of historic residences located between Catania, Palermo, Caserta, and Naples, including Palace Paternò Castello of Biscari, Palace Paternò Castello of Sangiuliano, Palace Paternò of Manganelli, Palace Paternò of Toscano, Palace Paternò of San Nicola and Montecupo, Palace Asmundo Paternò of Sessa, Castle of Biscari, Villa Paternò of Spedalotto etc.

Furthermore, the family, which among other things inspired the story of the famous book by De Roberto, "The Viceroys",[32][33] also left a mark of their Christian values. This is evidenced by the establishment of six convents[34] and five orphanages,[35] some of which still exist to this day. In several occasions during famines, it's members have procured and supplied food to the entire population of Catania at their own expenses.[36]

Starting from the 15th century, the Paternò family branched out in twenty-four different lines, none of whom are however cadet and each with their own titles of Princes, Dukes etc. Presently, eleven of these branches are still in existence today: (1) Paternò of Roccaromana; (2) Paternò of the Toscano; (3) Paternò of Sessa; (4) Paternò of Bicocca; (5) Paternò Castello of Biscari; (6) Paternò Castello of Carcaci; (7) Paternò Castello of Sangiuliano; (8) Moncada Paternò Castello of Valsavoja; (9) Paternò of Raddusa; (10) Paternò of Spedalotto; (11) Paternò of San Nicola, of Pozzomauro, of Montecupo, of Presicce and of Cerenzia.



Posthumous Portrait of Roberto of Embrun (1535) by Polidoro da Caravaggio[37]

From numerous historical documents,[38][39] various genealogies,[40] extensive studies,[41] and encyclopedic works,[42] we know that the founder of the Paternò family was named Robert of Embrun (1050-1100). Among other things, we also find his name in the Roll of the Brotherhood of the Nobles of Sicily, which Robert himself established and where he is listed among the first members (as recorded in a document preserved by the canon and royal chronicler Antonino d'Amico).[43]

The ancestry of Robert is not entirely clear, but it is likely[3] that he was a member of the Sovereign House of Barcelona for three main reasons:

  • First, the Paternò family uses the same coat of arms as the House of Barcelona (later Kings of Aragon)[44] with the added azure bend, symbolizing the cadency and status as a second-born line. Interestingly, the Paternò coat of arms is identical to that of the Royal House of the Aragon-Majorca, which is itself another cadet line stemming from the House of Barcelona.[45] Furthermore, when the Crown of Aragon arrived in Sicily in 1282, the Paternò coat of arms was already prominently displayed on various monuments[46] and carried by family members at court.[47] It is highly unlikely that the Aragonese Kings would have permitted the Paternò to retain a wrong coat of arms, identical to their own Royal Line. Furthermore, even the Paternò branch who relocated in Spain in 1292[48] continued to use the Paternò coat of arms even while holding notable positions such as Viceroy of Minorca.[49]
  • Secondly, both Roberto d'Embrun and many of his ancestors are considered descendants of the House of Barcelona in numerous works, including studies,[41][50][51] encyclopedias such as Treccani,[52] Rizzoli-Larousse,[53] and Encyclopedie,[54] as well as in paintings[37] and ancient genealogical and historiographical works.[40] Therefore, the fact that Robert d'Embrun is not mentioned in a recently validated genealogy of the Counts of Barcelona[55] does not prove the historical impossibility of his descent. It is instead possible that the ancient studies are accurate, even though no primary evidence has survived to this day.
  • Finally, Roberto's title was Count of Embrun, an appelation that belonged to the House of Provence, which, broadly extinguished into House of Barcelona through multiple marriages.[56] As a result, the House of Provence conferred its titles and fiefs to the Barcelona lineage. In particular, Bernard I Taillefer (988-1020), Count of Besalù and member of the House of Barcelona, married Toda[57] (980-1020), presumed daughter of William I of Provence,[58] and thus Countess of Gap, Forcalquier, and Embrun. If true, all the Barcelona descendants stemming from Toda have hereditary rights to those titles of House Provence (including Embrun). As a result, Roberto had to be a their relative, and it is believed that the descent was through Asenrico (aka Henry) (?-1054)[59][60][61], son of Bernard and Toda, from whom descended William, and then Robert of Embrun.[50][62] Also if Toda was not of House Provence, Roberto would still have Barcelona blood, but descend from a different link.

Assuming the Paternò ascenstors belonged to the House of Barcelona-Provence, the family also descends from the Carolingian dynasty, once Kings of the Franks.[63] Furthermore, the House of Provence was in itself a Royal House.[64]

In any case, Robert of Embrun travelled to Sicily to participate in the Norman conquest of Sicily led by Roger I of Hauteville around 1060, and there he distinguished himself particularly in the conquest of the town of Paternò (around 1063), to the extent that he obtained feudal lordship over it and adopted its name. The Treccani Encyclopedia states: "Robert, Count of Embrun, from the Sovereign House of Barcelona and Provence, by having conquered the castle of Paternò, obtained feudal lordship over it and adopted its name".[65] According to another accepted theory,[66] however, it wasn't Robert of Embrun who adopted the surname Paternò, but rather his son Constantine I (already Count of Buccheri) after his (presumed) marriage[67] with Maria, Countess of Paternò. Maria was the daughter of Flandina of Hauteville and Hugh of Jarzé, and the granddaughter of Grand Count Roger I. Therefore, Constantine, having entered into this significant marriage and being now definelty settled in Sicily, adopted his wife's appellation as surname, while retaining his coat of arms of Barcelona. This gave rise to the Paternò family ("de Paternione").

The practice of retaining the male line family crest but adopting the wife's appellation as a surname also occurred in the House of Barcelona. In fact, the descendants of Count of Barcelona Raymond Berengar IV (from House Barcelona) and of Queen of Aragon Petronilla (last of House of Jimenez), adopted as their surname the maternal appellation (Aragon, from which the Kings of Aragon), but retained the male line Barcelona coat of arms. The same dynamics repeated for the House of Paternò.

Through the marriage of Maria and Constantine I, the Paternò family became descendants also from the Sovereign House of Hauteville, matrilineality which was further strengthened in the following century.

Norman / Hauteville (1060-1198), Hohenstaufen (1198-1266), and Anjou (1266-1282).[edit]

Walter (aka Gualterio) and Constantin succeed Robert d'Embrun. The former became Archbishop of Palermo as per the Apostolic Bull of 1113 sent by Pope Paschal II,[11] while Constantin married Maria and was successed by Robert II Paternò, and then Costantin II Paternò (?-1168)[68][69], who became Lord of Buccheri and Count of Butera and Martana. Costantin II married Matilde Drengot and Hauteville[11], Countess of Avenel, great-grand daughter of Roger I of Sicily and niece of King Roger II of Sicily.[70] The marriage further strengthened the familial bond between the Royal House of Hauteville and the Paternò, which increased the family honours as evidenced by two accounts. Firstly, Great Count Roger I himself ordered the placement of the Paternò coat of arms alongside those of the Norman kings and the city of Catania on the architrave of the Cathedral of Catania, a construction project initiated by Roger himself and finalized in 1093[71]. Secondly, during the 11th century, the Paternò family held significant and extensive titles such as Count of Buccheri, Count of Butera, and Count of Martana. These fiefs were so wealthy and important that, " that time, were granted only to individuals of royal blood..."[72]

However, while the Paternò family enjoyed glory under the Normans, they faced a challenging period under the rule of the Hohenstaufens who brutally persecuted all representatives of the Norman House and those families that were close to them. In fact, some Paternò members even lived in exile.[73] The situation only slightly changed under the Capetian House of Anjou.

Aragonese (1282-1516) and Spanish Viceroys / Habsburg (1516-1713)[edit]

During the Aragonese period (1282-1516) and the subsequent viceregal Spanish period (1516-1713) under the House of Habsburg, the environment changed significantly. During those centuries, the Paternò family was granted numerous large and populous fiefs and honors by the Aragonese kings, and they quickly ascended to great authority in the Kingdom of Sicily.[74] In fact, between the 12th and 16th centuries, they were bestowed with around sixty baronies, including notable ones like Pettineo (a title created in 1170, the oldest in the Kingdom of Sicily), as well as Burgio (1292), Saline (1292), Regiovanni (1296), Pantano of Catania (1340), Nicchiara (1392), Mirabella Imbaccari (1422), Graneri (1453), Sparacogna (1478), Aragona (1479), Spedalotto (1490), Raddusa (1503), Destra (1503), and others.[66]

The history of the Paternò goes hand in hand with the history of Catania. For several centuries, the family took control of its governing body and focused in obtaining in favour of the city numerous royal privileges. A representative example,[75] is the "Buxolo" in the 15th century, thanks to Benedetto Paternò, the 2nd Baron of Floresta.[25] This privilege granted to the Government of Catania (rather than the King) full administrative autonomy. Now to access the highest positions in the Catania Government (Patrician, Captain Justice, Senator, and Ambassador), one had to be enrolled in the Mastra Nobile (House of Nobility), an institution collecting the ancient aristocracy of the region. Not only were the Paternò enrolled as the oldest family, but they also dominated its rulings to the extent of "excluding anyone they did not like and prevented anybody from being noble or paritcipating in the city government without their consent."[74] Interestingly, every single year, for all the four centuries during which the Mastra Nobile operated, at least one member (and often more than one simultaneously) of the Paternò family held one of the top four highest positions.

As the English historian Denis Mack Smith recalls, "The name of the Paternò family appears almost every year on the list of Senators of the city... In Catania, the Prince of Biscari, from the Paternò family, by virtue of being the most eminent citizen and the main employer, was more important than any royal judge... He not only enjoyed a reputation for being generous with his servants and peasants, but he also created one of the most beautiful private museums in the world. His relatives, in their vast estates, had shown themselves to be good farmers... and he himself brought in foreign artisans to promote the production of linen and rum. In an emergency, he practically fed the entire city of Catania at his own expense for a month."[76]

In the early 15th century, the Paternò family divided into three main branches, represented by the three brothers:

  • Nicola, also known as "il Maggiore" (?-1428), became the 1st Baron of Floresta, the 1st Baron of Terza Dogana, Judge of Catania, and Royal Counselor. He married Alvira Reggio, daughter of Jacinta of Mantova (a direct descendant of Frederick II). From him, eight branches descended, including three still existing (Dukes of Roccaromana and Marquesses of Toscano; Counts Paternò del Grado; Marquesses of Sessa), and five extinct (Princes of Manganelli and Sperlinga; Counts of Embrun and Barons of Floresta; Barons of Terza Dogana; Barons of Manganelli; Dukes of Furnari and Barons of San Cono).
  • Benedetto (?-?), became the 1st Baron of Pantano Salso. His omonimous line became extinct in the 16th century.
  • Gualterio (1381-1432), became the 5th Baron of Burgio, 1st Baron of Imbaccari, and held various other titles. He served as Ambassador of the Aragonese to Pope Martin V. He married Elisabetta Ventimiglia of Castello Maniaci (descendant of the renowned Aragona and Hohenstaufen families)[25]. Gualterio had fifteen branches of descent, including eight still existing today (Princes of Biscari; Dukes of Carcaci; Barons of Bicocca; Marquesses of San Giuliano; Princes of Valdisavoja; Barons of Raddusa; Marquesses of Spedalotto; Dukes of San Nicola, Dukes of Pozzomauro, and Counts of Montecupo), six now extinct (Barons of Sant'Alessio; Barons of Oxina; Barons of Porta of Aci; Barons of Canali; Barons of Ramione; Barons of Vallone), and one still flourishing but no longer part of the Paternò lineage (Dukes Paternò Castello, now Battiato Paternò Castello).[77]

Throughout these centuries, members of the Paternò family held most of the leading positions of power in the Kingdom. They served as Viceroys, Presidents of the Kingdom, sometimes with Viceregal functions, Strategoti of Messina (the second highest position in the Kingdom), Mastro Giustiziere, Gran Camerario, Vicar General of the Kingdom, Judges of the Grand Court, and more. Several family members also held high positions in the Catholic Church, becoming bishops, archbishops, and cardinals.[78]

In the 17th century, the Biscari line descended from Gualterio and, in turn, the subsequent lines stemming from the Biscari line, adopted the surname Paternò Castello due to a marriage between a member of the Biscari House and the last heiress of the Castello lineage. In 1633, the Paternò family became the first Catania family to obtain the title of Prince, specifically the title of Prince of Biscari, which was among the first in Sicily. The Paternò family also acquired numerous other noble titles, such as Princes of Sperlinga dei Manganelli[79], Princes of Valsavoia (Moncada Paternò Castello)[80], Princes of Presicce, Princes of Cerenzia, Princes of Emanuel, Princes of Montevago, Dukes of Carcaci, Dukes of Roccaromana, Dukes of San Nicola, Dukes of Pozzomauro, and more. The Paternò family were also Peers of the Kingdom of Sicily.

By the early 17th century, the family owned 48 different fiefs with mero and misto imperio rights, and throughout its history, it obtained over 170 main fiefs.[25][21]

Savoy Period (1713-1720), Austrian (1720-1734), and Bourbon (1734-1860)[edit]

Between the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, intellectual paradigms changed, feudal power disappeared, and forms of wealth evolved. The Paternò family often established industries, reclaimed extensive territories, founded new towns, and distinguished themselves in the intellectual field. The Treccani Encyclopedia states: "The Paternò family played a significant role in the establishment of the University of Catania and the construction of the Molo in the same city, as well as the foundation and growth of various Sicilian towns and lands (Mirabella, Imbaccari, Raddusa, Biscari), the establishment of industries such as silk (of which they held the exclusive rights in Catania) or flax (Biscari), and the reclamation of important and extensive territories that required colossal works, such as the canal in the Carcaci area stretching over 50 km and the Aragona aqueduct bridge over the Simeto river, which was 720 meters long and 40 meters high, both entirely built by the Paternò family."[74]

At the time of the abolition of feudalism in 1812, the family owned 80,000 hectares of land and had five hereditary seats in Parliament, more than any other aristocratic house in Naples or Sicily. They also possessed eleven vassal cities and lands with around 20,000 subjects, twenty-six fiefs with mero et mixto imperio, and a multitude of allodial fiefs and various properties such as estates, villas, and palaces"[2]

From the Unification of Italy to the Present[edit]

After the fall of feudalism, the Paternò family continued to actively participate in the public, intellectual, and political life of Italy. For example, in the 19th century, Giuseppe of Spedalotto served as Minister of War and Navy of Sicily under the Bourbons and later became a Senator of the Kingdom of Italy and Aide-de-Camp to King Vittorio Emanuele II. Antonino I Marchese del Toscano, on the other hand, served as the Mayor of Catania and later as Gentleman of the Chamber in the service of His Majesty King Victor Emmanuel II. He also completed the magnificent Palace of Toscano. In the 20th century, Antonino VIII Marchese of San Giuliano, a prominent figure even on a European level, held positions such as Mayor of Catania, Deputy, Undersecretary of State, Ambassador to London (where he also received an honorary degree from the University of Oxford) and Paris, Senator of the Kingdom, and finally Minister of Posts and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Family Alliances[edit]

The Paternò family has blood ties[40][78] with several ancient and major noble families. As stated by the Italian historian Filadelfo Mugnos, "it would be easier to find a noble family in Sicily with which the Paternò family is not connected than to recount all the lineages that can claim to have given or received one or more quarters of the Paternò family."[81].

Furthermore, many members of this family are descended from various royal houses through female marriage.[118][119]

Notable Members[edit]

The list is limited to the most relevant 3-4 individuals per century:[40][78]

11th Century

  • Robert of Embrun Paternò (circa 1040 - circa 1100): Ancestor of the Paternò family, he came to Sicily to participate in the Norman conquest of Sicily led by Roger I Hauteville around 1060.

12th Century

  • Gualterio I Paternò (11th-12th century): Archbishop of Palermo, appointed by Pope Gregory VII.
  • Costantino II Paternò, 2nd Count of Buccheri, 1st Count of Butera, 1st Count of Martana, etc. (died 1168): Important feudal lord, invested with the titles of Count of Butera and Count of Martana, which were so important and extensive that "at that time they were only granted to individuals of royal blood..."[72] He also strengthened the bond with the Altavilla family by marrying Matilde dell’Aquila, Drengot and Altavilla, Countess of Avenel and great-granddaughter of Ruggero II.

13th Century

  • Roberto Paternò (13th century): Prior of Centuripe (1216-1219)
  • Scimenez (or Ximene) Paternò, from the Spanish Paternoy Line (13th century): Viceroy of Minorca, with a privilege granted by King James II of Aragon.[16][120]
  • Giacomo Paternò (died 1310): Prior of the Cathedral of Catania.

14th Century

  • Gualtiero Paternò, 1st Baron of Burgio (14th century): Lieutenant of the Master Justiciar of Sicily (1300).
  • Benedetto Paternò, 2nd Baron of Burgio (14th century): Royal Knight, Jurat of Catania (i.e., Senator) in 1306 and 1309, Horseman of King Ludovico I of Sicily.
  • Giovanni (known as "il Vecchio") Paternò, 4th Baron of Burgio, 2nd Baron of Pantano Salso (died 1400): Vice-Secretary of Syracuse (appointed by Frederick IV) for life from 1364, Judge of Catania (1389), and Master Justiciar of the Magna Regia Curia of the Kingdom of Sicily for life from 1395 (i.e., head of the Royal Judges).

15th Century

  • Sancho Paternò, from the Spanish Paternoy Line (15th century): Master Rational of Aragon (Royal Treasurer) and great promoter of the Holy Inquisition in that Kingdom.[121]
  • Jaime Paternò of the Terza Dogana (c.1420's-15th century): Bishop of Malta (1447, appointed by Pope Eugene IV), Ambassador (1470) to Viceroy Lope Ximen Durrea, obtained the reform of Buxolo, Apostolic Vicar General of the Episcopal See of Catania (1471).
  • Pietro Paternò, 2nd Baron of Graneri, 1st Baron of Aragona, Cuba, and Sparacogna (died 1494): twice Strategoto of Messina (1449 and 1467), the highest office after the Viceroy, three times Ambassador, three times Juror (1447, 1449, 1458), once Patrician (1454), and twice Captain Justiciar (1444 and 1447).
  • Giovanni (known as the Camerlengo) Paternò, 3rd Baron of Terza Dogana (15th century): Camerlengo of the Kingdom of Sicily, Royal Chamberlain of the Kingdom of Sicily, ambassador to Popes Eugene IV (1444) and Sixtus IV (1472), Strategoto of Messina (1470), the highest office after the Viceroy or President of the Kingdom appointed by King John.[122]
Cardinal Giovanni Paternò (1511) in Duomo of Palermo

16th Century

  • Sigismondo (known as the Virtuoso) Paternò della Terza Dogana (15th-16th century): Ambassador to Aragon in 1492, Royal Knight. In 1518, he obtained from Charles II (later Emperor Charles V) the privilege in favor of the city of Catania called the "Third Sister," which equated Catania with Palermo and Messina and elevated it to the dignity of the Capital of the Kingdom
  • Giovanni Paternò, of the Pantano Salso Barons' Line (?-1511): Bishop of Malta (1478), Archbishop of Palermo (1489), Cardinal of S.R.C. (1510), President of the Kingdom (1507, 1510, 1512).
  • Alvaro Paternò della Terza Dogana (?-1524): Ambassador to the Queen (1518), to the Viceroy, and to the General Parliaments; he was honored with the title of Father of the Fatherland, and Pope Adrian VI appointed him Roman Senator. As a patron of the arts, he commissioned the Chapel in the Church of San Gregorio in honor of Saint Philip of Agira, the Chapel in the Abbey of Agira in honor of Saint Agatha, and the portal of the Church of Santa Maria del Gesù,[123] using Antonello Gagini. He also wrote the Ceremonial of the Catania Senate.
  • Gian Francesco Paternò, 4th Baron of Imbaccari and 1st Baron of Raddusa (15th century-1532): Captain of Catania, he accompanied Viceroy Ramon de Cardona on his expedition to Calabria, then participated (1510) in the wars in Africa led by Charles V. After the fall of Tripoli, he was appointed by the King as the inspector of all troops for the defense of Catania. In the Flanders, he was a leader in the armies of Charles V against Francis I, and in Aachen, the Emperor bestowed upon him (1522) the title of Knight of the Military Belt and Golden Spur. He was later entrusted with the defense (and all powers, including the power of mere and mixed imperium) of the island of Malta.

17th Century

  • Orazio Paternò, 5th Baron of Aragon, Cuba, and Sparacogna (?-1614): Five times Senator, three times Patrician, and once Captain Justiciar. He was also appointed by Philip III as a Knight of the Military Girdle and the Golden Spur, a title extendable to his descendants.
  • Giovan Battista Paternò del Vallone (1571-1657): Ambassador to Viceroy Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy; Fray Juan de Paternoy, on the other hand, was an Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Pope Clement VIII; Vincenzo, 8th Baron of Raddusa, served as Ambassador of the city of Catania to King Charles II of Spain in 1670, 1671, and 1672.
  • Agatino Paternò Castello, 1st Prince of Biscari, 9th Baron of Aragon, Cuba, and Sparacogna (1594-1675): Vicar General of the Kingdom (1639), four times Patrician, and three times Captain Justiciar of Catania. He also founded a Loan Fund, the first one in Catania, to combat usury and played a mediating role during the anti-Spanish revolt of 1647.
Portrait of Ignazio Paternò Castello, V Prince of Biscari (1722-1786)

18th Century

  • Frà Michele Maria Paternò of Raddusa (1706+1795): Bailiff Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Malta, Grand Prior of Messina of the SMOM (1773-1795),[124] Admiral of the Italian Naval Squadron of the Order of Malta, and Commander of Sant'Egidio in Piacenza.
  • Lorenzo Maria Paternò of San Nicola, 2nd Marquis of Casanova, 1st Count of Montecupo (1714-1793): President of the Royal Chamber and Minister of the Supreme War Council of the Kingdom of Naples, Patrician of Benevento, Patrician of Naples, Patrician of Catania. He commissioned the architect Gaetano Barba, a student of Vanvitelli, to build a grand villa in Capodimonte and a large palace in Caserta near the Royal Palace.
  • Ignazio Paternò Castello, 5th Prince of Biscari (1719-1786): Powerful feudal lord, renowned patron of the arts, and, as Denis Mark Smith recalls, the founder of "one of the most beautiful private museums in the world" (the Biscari Museum), which was inaugurated in 1758. He was a member of the Bordeaux Academy, filling the vacancy left by Voltaire. He was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Ferdinand IV of Sciences and Fine Letters, and in 1784, he was appointed Academician of the New Royal Florentine Academy. He was also appointed by many Italian and foreign academies.[125] He dedicated himself to the construction of colossal works for that time. Historian Lidia Storoni Mazzolani wrote that Ignazio, "in his 29 fiefs, was no less than a sovereign, and in his palace, he could compete not only with Sicilian colleagues but also with the great families of Naples and Rome." However, as a true patron and feudal lord, "he believed that his birth, wealth, and culture were passed on to him for the benefit and delight of his fellow human beings and not solely for himself."[126]
  • Giovan Battista (Asmundo) Paternò of Sessa (18th century): Judge of the Grand Court (1760), Regent of the Sicilian Council (1776-1780), President of the Kingdom (1803), President of the Grand Court and Lieutenant of the Chief Justiciar (1787), Honorary Knight and Devotee of the SMOM. He was also an important patron, supporting artists and embellishing his palace with magnificent works of art as described by many travelers.[127]
Frà Ernesto Paternò Castello of Carcaci, Lieutenant Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1955-1962)

19th Century

  • Giuseppe Vincenzo Paternò, 3rd Duke of Carcaci (1728-1817): Peer of the Kingdom of Sicily, Senator, Mayor of the Senate of Catania from 1765, Chief Justiciar of Catania in 1769, Grain Deputy of Catania, and ultimately Extraordinary Captain of Arms for the entire Kingdom with full authority (1770). He was also a Knight of the Order of Malta from 1777 and received, from Grand Master Rohan, the privilege, granted only to Sovereigns, to wear the Novice Caravanist Habit of the Order. He also administered the assets of the Suppressed Society of Jesus (whose income in 1765 amounted to more than 450,000 Italian scudo).[128]
  • Giuseppe Paternò of Spedalotto (1793-1876): Captain of the Dragoons in Valdemone in 1812, Colonel of the Hussars of the Royal Guard in 1839, Minister of War and Navy in 1848 and 1849, Lieutenant General of the Italian Army in 1861, Secretary of State for War in 1860, Aide-de-Camp to King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy in 1862, Senator of the Kingdom of Italy in 1862, Grand Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus in 1862, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy.
  • Antonino Paternò, 1st Marquess of Toscano (?-1830): Mayor of Catania, and later Gentleman of the Bedchamber in the service of His Majesty the King of Savoy. He also completed his palace.
    Antonino Paternò Castello, VIII Marquess of San Giuliano (1852-1914)

20th Century

  • Antonino Paternò Castello, 8th Marquess of San Giuliano (1852-1914): Mayor of Catania, Deputy, Undersecretary of State, Ambassador to London (where he also received an Honorary Degree from the University of Oxford) and Paris, and finally Senator of the Kingdom and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which role he contributed to writing some pages of Italian and early 20th-century European history. He was decorated with the Order of the Supreme Annunciation and was the inspiration for De Roberto's famous novel, "The Viceroys," in which the Uzeda family is identified with the Paternò family.
  • Emanuele Paternò, 9th Marquess of Sessa (1847-1935): He won the Chair of Chemistry at the age of twenty-four and taught first in Turin, then in Palermo, where he also served as Magnificent Rector of the University from 1886 to 1890, and finally taught in Rome. In 1909, he discovered the Paternò-Büchi reaction and was a member of the Lincean Academy. He was also an important politician. Mayor of Palermo from May 1890 to January 1892 and President of the Provincial Council of Palermo from 1898 to 1914. In 1890, he was appointed Senator of the Kingdom and served as Vice-President of the Senate on multiple occasions.
  • Frà Ernesto Paternò Castello of Carcaci (1882-1971): S.V. Venerable Bailiff, decorated with the Grand Cordon Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
  • Achille Paternò, 16th Marquess of Regiovanni, 5th Marquess of Spedalotto, 31st Baron of Regiovanni, 30th Baron of Alzacuda, etc. (1895-1970): Decorated with the Gold Medal for Civil Valor for exceptional services to Public Education; Captain of Artillery, awarded the War Merit Cross for the 1915/1918 campaign.

Branches of the House of Paternò[edit]

Robert of Embrun
 └─── Counts of Butera, Counts of Martana, Barons of Floresta, Barons of Burgio and Imbaccari (XI-XIII cent.)
      ├── Barons of Terza Dogana and Manganelli (branch extinct since 1603)
      │   │
      │   ├── Princes of Sperlinga dei Manganelli, Dukes of Palazzo,
      │   │   Barons of Manganelli, Barons of Mastronotariato (branch extinct in 1973)[79]
      │   │
      │   │
      │   └── Dukes of Roccaromana, Marquesses of Toscano
      │       │
      │       ├── Amico Paternò, Counts Paternò del Grado
      │       │
      │       ├── Marquesses of Sessa, Marquesses Paternò Asmundo, Barons of Villasmundo, etc.
      │       │
      │       └── Dukes of Furnari, Barons of Aci Ficarazzi (branch extinct in 20th century) 
      │       │
      │       └── Paternò Abbatelli, Barons of San Cono 
      ├── Barons of Pantano Salso (branch extinct since 16th cent.)
      └── Barons of Burgio and Imbaccari 
          │  ├── Paternò Castello, Princes of Biscari, Barons of Imbaccari, Mirabella
          │  │   │   Aragona, Baldi, Sciortavilla, Cuba e Sparacogna
          │  │   │
          │  │   └── Paternò Castello, Dukes of Carcaci, Barons of Placa e Bajana
          │  │       │
          │  │       └── Paternò Castello, Barons of Bicocca
          │  │
          │  ├── Paternò Castello, Marquesses of Sangiuliano, Marquesses of Capizzi,
          │  │   Barons of Sangiuliano, Barons of Pollicarini, Lords of Mottacamastra, etc. 
          │  │   │
          │  │   └── Paternò Castello (since 1707 Moncada Paternò Castello), Princes of Valsavoja
          │  │
          │  └── Paternò Castello, Barons of Sant'Alessio e Salamone (branch extinct in 1831)
          ├── Marquesses of Raddusa, Marquesses of Manchi of Bilici, Lords of Marianopoli
          │   │ 
          │   └── Paternò Ventimiglia, Marquesses of Spedalotto, Marquesses of Reggiovanni,
          │       Counts of Prades (Sicily), Barons of Pettineo, Barons of Gallitano, Lords of Alzacuda, etc. 
          ├── Barons of Vallone (branch extinct since 18th cent.)
          └── Princes of Presicce[129], Princes of Cerenzia[130], Dukes of San Nicola, Dukes of Pozzomauro, Marquesses of Casanova, Counts of Montecupo 

Historic Residences[edit]

Palace Paternò Castello of Biscari (Catania)
Palace Paternò Castello of San Giuliano (Catania)
Palace Paternò of Manganelli (Catania)
Palace Paternò of Toscano (Catania)
Palace Paternò of San Nicola, Pozzomauro and Montecupo (Caserta)
Palace of Asmundo Paternò of Sessa (Palermo)
Fresco of Gioacchino Martorana 1764
Some of the Villas of the House of Paternò
Villa Spedalotto (Bagheria)
Villa San Giuliano (Villasmundo)
Some of the Castles of the House of Paternò
Castle of the Princes of Biscari (Acate)
Castle of Carcaci (Enna)

The family owns or has owned a series of historic residences located between Catania, Palermo, Caserta, and Naples. These include:




Nobility Titles[edit]

The date in parentheses indicates the year of royal investiture and/or creation of the title. The historic age of noble titles is sometimes more important than their rank because, in certain states such as the Kingdom of Sicily, there were no Ducal or Princely titles until 1576. That being said, the Paternò family was the first family in Catania to be awarded the title of Prince (Prince of Biscari, Royal Consanguineous and Peer of the Realm, 1633).

Note: Some of the titles listed below were inherited by the Paternò family from other aristocratic families through marriage. Similarly, and always via marriages, some of the titles below have now been passed on to other families.

11th Century:

• Count of Embrun (1060); Count of Buccheri (1090).

12th Century:

• Count of Butera (1161); Count of Martana (1162).

• Baron of Pettineo and Peer of the Realm (1170).

13th Century:

• Baron of Burgio (1292); Baron of Saline (1292); Baron of Regiovanni (1296).

14th Century:

• Baron of Gallitano (1325); Baron of Pantano Salso of Catania (1340); Baron of Nicchiara (1392); Baron of Belliscara (1393); Baron of Maucino (1393); Baron of Binvini (1393); Baron of Murgo (1398); Baron of Foresta Vecchia (1399); Baron of Mangalavite (1399); Baron of Triari (1399); Baron of Li Butti (1399).

15th Century:

• Baron of Ports and Marines of the Noto Valley (1407); Baron of Portolanato of Girgenti (1417); Baron of Alzacuda (1417); Baron of the Goods of Mazzara, Trapani e Sciacca (1422); Baron of Mirabella Imbaccari (1422); Baron of Terza Dogana of the Sea of Catania (1423); Baron of Inferior Imbaccari (1425); Baron of Catalimita (1425); Baron of Graneri (1453); Baron of the Castle of Castania (1473); Baron of Pojra of Paternò (1478); Baron of Sparacogna (1478); Baron of Cuba (1479); Baron of Aragona (1479); Baron of Spedalotto (1490); Baron of Brieni (1494); Baron of Fraxinòo (1494); Baron of Scordia Suprana (1499).

16th Century:

• Duke of Pozzomauro (1590).

• Baron of Raddusa (1503); Baron of Destra (1503); Baron of Belmonte (1524); Baron of Montagna (1524); Baron of Castello d'Oxina (1525); Baron of Vallone (1538); Baron of Salsetta (1541); Baron of Ramione (1546); Baron of Bruca (1567); Baron of Xiurca (1574); Baron of Canali (1574); Baron of Castelluzzo (1576); Baron of Biscari (1580); Baron of Sollazzi of Troina (1580); Baron of Sollazzi of Salomone (1580); Baron of Bufaledi (1595); Baron of Caddeddi (1595); Baron of Recalcaccia (1595); Baron of Spinagallo (1595).

17th Century:

• Prince of Biscari, Royal Consanguineous and Peer of the Realm (1633); Prince Paternò Castello (on the surname) (1633); Prince of Sperlinga of Manganelli (1627); Prince Paternò (on the surname) (1627); Prince of Cerenzia (1697);[130] Prince of Cassano; Prince of Caspoli and Canino.

• Duke of Palazzo (1627); Duke of Furnari (1643); Duke of Carcaci and Peer of the Realm (1648); Duke Paternò (1648); Duke of Alessano.

• Marquess of Sangiuliano (1669); Marquess of Regiovanni (1625); Marquess of Grotteria, Marquess of Capizzi (1633).

• Count of Prades (1661); Count of Simari.

• Baron of Castello of Piraino, Peer of the Realm (1622); Baron of Baldi (1622); Baron of Intorella (1622); Baron of Misilindrino (1622); Baron of Santa Margherita (1622); Baron of Bidani (1629); Baron of Manganelli (1639); Baron of Polino (1635); Baron of Aci Ficarazzi (1640); Baron of Gallizzi (1644); Baron of Mandrascati (1644); Baron of Sigona (1650); Baron of Baglia, Dogana of Milazzo, Pozzo of Gotto (1656); Baron of Bicocca (1688).

18th Century:

• Prince of Presicce (1712);[129] Prince of Valdisavoja (1763); Prince of Emanuel - Reburdone.

• Duke of San Nicola (1711); Duke of Giampolo (1724); Duke of Roccaromana (1783); Duke of Castellina.

• Marquess of Casanova (1728); Marquess Paternò (1728); Marquess Paternò (1756); Marquess of Sessa (1756); Marquess Asmundo-Paternò (1756); Marquess of Spedalotto (1793).

• Count of Montecupo (1730).

• Baron of Camopetro (1702); Baron of Carcaci (1703); Baron of Licata (1703); Baron of Sant'Alessio (1713); Baron of Villasmundo and Peer of the Realm (1716); Baron of Sciortavilla Superiore and Inferiore (1722); Baron of San Giuliano (1732); Baron of Mastronotariato (1737); Baron of San Cono and Peer of the Realm (1754); Baron of Armiggi (1762-1906); Baron of Placa and Bajana (1774); Baron of Cugno Mezzano (1775); Baron of Pollicarini (1789); Baron of Superior Imbaccari (1792).

19th Century:

• Prince of Montevago (c.1800).

• Duke of San Michele; Duke Paternò Castello (1885).

• Marquess of Manchi of Bilici or Marianopoli and Peer of the Realm (1806); Marquess Paternò; Marquess of Toscano (1858).

• Baron of Scala (1801).

20th Century:

• Marquess Paternò (1911, 1916, 1922, 1933).

• Count Amico Paternò del Grado (c.1900).

• Baron of Rigilifi (1928).

Coat of Arms[edit]

House of Paternò Coat of Arms

Blazon: Or, four pallets of gules with a bendlet azure.

Crown: Princely; The Princes of Biscari have also the royal privilege of adding four ears of wheat to their Princely Crown.[131]

Mantle: Princely

The coat of arms of the Paternò family undergoes slight variations depending on the specific branch of belonging:

  • Quarterly and per bend: 1st, Or, four red pallets with a silver bend crossing (Paternò); 2nd, Azure, a castle of three towers in gold (Castello); 3rd, Azure, three bars accompanied by six bezants arranged 3, 2 between the bars, and one in the lower left corner, all in gold (Guttadauro) (Dukes of Paternò).
  • Party per pale: Paternò, which is Or, four red pallets with a crossing azure bend, and Castello, which is Azure, a castle of three towers in silver (Princes of Biscari).
  • Party per pale: Paternò, which is Or, four red pallets with a crossing azure bend, and Castello, which is Azure, a castle of three turreted pieces in gold, founded on a natural grassy plain (Marquess of San Giuliano, Dukes of Carcaci).[78]


  1. Indice Delle Famiglie Italiane Di Nobiltà Millenaria. Renkhoff. 1983. Search this book on
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "PATERNO in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". (in italiano). Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 While the link between the Houses of Paternò and Barcelona is supported by various sources such as studies and encyclopedias, and certain factors like the presence of a shared coat of arms, some verified genealogies of the Counts of Barcelona and Besalú, such as those found in Medieval Lands and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, do not mention a figure named Robert d'Embrun. As a result, we cannot definitively establish this relationship. For further details, please refer to the Origins section.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matrilineal succession through two marriages. The first one was between Costantino I Paternò, son of Robert of Embrun (founder of the Paternò family), who married Maria of the Counts of Paternò who was the daughter of Flandina of Hauteville and Hugh of Jarzé and granddaughter of Grand Count Roger I of Sicily. The second marriage was contracted between Costantino II Paternò and Matilde dell'Aquila, Drengot and Altavilla, Countess of Avenel, and great-granddaughter of the King Roger II of Sicily. Please see origins section or: (i) (ii) etc
  5. Through the Barcelona-Provence branch: the House of Provence had become extinct in the House of Barcelona through multiple marriages, transferring its titles and fiefs to them. In particular, Bernard I Taillefer (?-1020), Count of Besalù and member of the House of Barcelona, married Toda (980-1020), presumed daughter of William I of Provence and thus Countess of Gap, Forcalquier, and Embrun. Toda was the great-grandmother of Robert of Embrun. For more information please review the Orings section
  6. Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 187
  7. "Hugh of Italy", Wikipedia, 2023-03-16, retrieved 2023-05-19
  8. Lothair II of Lotharingia, King of Lotharingia and great-grandson of Charlemagne (King of the Franks), marries Teutberga from the House of Provence. Their daughter Berta of Lotharingia (Carolingian), in turn, marries Tebaldo of Arles, always from the House of Provence. From this wedding we then have Boso, Margrave of Tuscany, then Rotboldo I of Provenza, then Boso II of Arles, which was the father of William I of Provence (in turn, the great-great-grandfather of Roberto d'Embrun)
  9. The Viceroy Scimenez Paternò obtained perpetual dominion over Minorca for the House of Paternò (Filadelfo Mugnos, Theatrum Genealogicum, 1650, under "Paternò" p. 20-28).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Di-Blasi, Giovanni Evangelista (1842). Storia cronologica de' vicerè, luogotenenti e presidenti del Regno di Sicilia (in italiano). Dalla Stamperia Oretea. Search this book on
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 "PATERNÒ, famiglia in "Dizionario Biografico"". (in italiano). Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  12. For example, evidenced by the establishment of the Biscari Museum
  13. Cypres Paternò, who in 1429 helped to conquer the fortress of Deca conquering five castles (Curita, Anales, book XIII, c. 55, f. 188 and c. 58, f. 192); Francesco, who was Maestre de campo of King Alfonso, in 1444; Giovan Francesco (Raddusa), who was Captain of Arms in the service of Emperor Charles V, participated in the Tripoli campaign in 1509, fought in Flanders against Francis I of France, and finally received the task of defending the island of Malta by the Viceroy Pignatelli; Giovan Filippo who was Judge of the Magna Curia in 1537, Royal Councilor, and who on 10 June 1530 sailed from the port of Messina with the task of Imperial Commissioner for the delivery of the island of Malta to the Grand Master of the Knights of Jerusalem; Ugo Paternò of Raddusa who was Captain in Arms, who fought valiantly at Lepanto in 1571 and who was Deputy of the Kingdom in 1585/88; Michele Paternò of Raddusa, who was Admiral of the Naval Squadron of the Sovereign Order of Malta from 1743 and subsequently led the Grand Priory of Messina from 1773 to 1795. (Refer to Francesco di Carcaci, I Paternò di Sicilia, Catania, 1935)
  14. "Four hundred and thirty years ago, on October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet, under the command of Don Juan of Austria, the natural son of Emperor Charles V and half-brother of King Philip II of Spain, defeated the Muslim fleet in the waters of Lepanto. 80% of the crews and ships were Italians, along with numerous commanders. Marcantonio Colonna commanded the Papal squadron; Sebastiano Veniero commanded the Venetian fleet; Andrea Doria commanded the Genoese fleet. Sicilians Ugo Paternò, Rinaldo Naro, Carlo Marello also distinguished themselves in the battle." (R. Stocchi, in "Italia Reale," April 2001)
  15. "Mero et mixto imperio" is a Latin expression which refers to the delegation of all powers (including political, administrative, fiscal, military, judicial etc.) to the feudatory, removing them from the Royal governing body.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Teatro genologico delle famiglie nobili titolate feudatarie ed antiche nobili del fidelissimo Regno di Sicilia viuenti ed estinte. Del s. don Filadelfo Mugnos. Parte prima [-terza]. . (in italiano). nella stamparia di Giacomo Mattei. 1670. Search this book on
  17. The Mastra Nobile
  18. Curita, Anales, lib. IX, cap. 3 p. 11 f. 284; lib. XIII, c. 55 f. 188 e c. 58 f. 192, lib. XVI, p. IV, c. 8 f. 10
  19. Five parlamient seats for Paternò (Biscari, Carcaci, Capizzi, Manchi e Marianopoli, Villasmundo), versus four for the House of Branciforte, three for the House of Gravina & Ventimiglia, and two for the Moncada. For further information please see Enciclopedia Treccani, Section "Paternò" and F. Carcaci, "I Paternò di Sicilia", pag 23
  20. F. Paternò Castello di Carcaci, L’inventario ed il testamento di Alvaro Paternò, Catania, Tipografia Zuccarello, 1930, p. 6.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Enciclopedia Treccani, Vol. XXVI, "Paternò", Prof. Giuseppe Paladino of Catania University (1935), p. 504.
  22. Torremuzza, Vincenzo Castelli di (1820). Fasti di Sicilia (in italiano). Pappalardo. Search this book on
  23. Francesco Maria Emanuele e Gaetani marchese di Villabianca, DELLA SICILIA NOBILE, in PARTE II, LIBRO I, pp. 103-105, PALERMO, MDCCLIV, Nella Stamperia de’Santi Apostoli.
  24. "Scheda senatore DI SAN GIULIANO (PATERNÒ CASTELLO) Antonino". Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 "LA STORIA DI CASA PATERNO'". Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  26. Gualterio Paternò (1381-1432), V Baron of Burgio, Baron of Imbaccari, Baron of Ports and Marinas of Val di Noto, Baron of Portolonato di Girgenti, Baron of Supplimenti of Mazzara, Trapani, and Sciacca, and Ambassador of the Aragonese to Pope Martin V. He was the first Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Refer to "Francesco Paternò Castello di Carcaci, I Paternò di Sicilia, Catania, 1935."
  27. "PATERNO' CASTELLO DI CARCACI S.V. Venerando Balì Frà Ernesto".
  28. "Grand Chancellor". Sovereign Order of Malta. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  29. Francesco Bonazzi (1897). Elenco dei cavalieri del S.M.ordine di S. Giovanni di Gerusalemme ricevuti ... (in Italian). Harvard University. Lib.Detken & Rocholl.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link) Search this book on
  30. Francesco Bonazzi (1897). Elenco dei cavalieri del S.M.ordine di S. Giovanni di Gerusalemme ricevuti ... (in Italian). Harvard University. Lib.Detken & Rocholl.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link) Search this book on
  31. Francesco Bonazzi (1907). Elenco dei cavalieri del S.M.ordine di S. Giovanni di Gerusalemme ricevuti ... (in Italian). Harvard University. Lib.Detken & Rocholl.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link) Search this book on
  32. Introduzione di Mario Lavagetto ai Viceré, pag XVIII (ed. Garzanti)
  33. “...Though the family of Uzeda have as much basis in reality as Proust’s Guermantes, only the Paternò Castello clan in its various branches held an analogous position at the lime....” (The London Magazine, Vol. 1 n. 12 March 1962, Colquhoun Archibald)
  34. The Church of the Holy Trinity, built by Agata Paternò in 1300 (Privitera, Epitome, Catania Bisagni, 1690, p. 214); the Monastery of Santa Chiara, founded in 1563 by Baron Antonio Paternò di Oscina; the Convent of Santa Caterina da Siena, established in 1603 through the bequest of Margherita Paternò; the Monastery of San Salvatore, founded in 1622 by Caterina Paternò di San Nicola; the Church and Convent of Santa Maria la Grande, reconstructed in 1640 by G. Battista Paternò (with a façade built by the Duke of Carcaci, Vincenzo Paternò Castello); the Church and Convent of the Regular Minor Clerics, founded in 1642 through the bequest of G.B. Paternò; the Church and Convent of the Reformed Minor Friars, supported by Alvaro Paternò Manganelli and later by Francesco Paternò Castello, Duke of Carcaci.
  35. The Conservatory of the Virgins in al Borgo, founded by Giacinto Paternò and later supported by the Princes of Biscari; the Conservatory of the Conception and the Conservatory of the Light, both founded by Vincenzo Paternò Castello, Duke of Carcaci; the Conservatory of the Little Virgins, supported by Vincenzo Paternò Castello, Duke of Carcaci; the Conservatory of the Child, benefited by Giovanni Paternò Castello.
  36. The Paternò provided food to the population of Catania, practically at their own expense, during numerous famines such as those in the years 1515, 1763, 1784, 1797-98, and others. For more information, refer to Francesco Paternó Castello di Cárcaci's work "Corpus Historiae Genealogicae Siciliae: Paternò" in Rivista del Collegio Araldico (formerly Rivista Araldica), Rome, published by R. Collegio Araldico, volume 32, 1934, pages 247-253.
  37. 37.0 37.1 In the palace of Catania belonging to Prince Paternò Castello di Biscari, there is a portrait of Robert d'Embrun that was executed in 1535 by the renowned painter Polidoro da Caravaggio (1499-1543). In this painting, Robert d'Embrun is depicted, and at his feet, there is a long inscription in Latin, translated as follows: "Roberto Paternò, warrior, traces his origins from the noble blood of the Normans and that of the Embruns, lords of Gaul. Forged by the martial nature of his ancestors, he distinguished himself with glorious deeds both in times of peace and war. Not only were his ideas and counsel greatly welcomed by the war heroes Robert Guiscard and his brother Great Count Roger I of Hauteville, under whose banners he was proclaimed leader of their army, but as their companion, advisor, and kinsman, he was held in the highest regard by them. This is evidenced by the numerous grants of fiefs and lands with vassals that were bestowed upon him, as documented by numerous records. In order to ensure that the memory of this valorous kinsman of mine does not fade into oblivion, I, Alfonso Paternò, on the orders of Charles V, the Most August Emperor and my perpetual Lord, had this canvas painted by Polidoro. The inspiration for this work came from another painting that, due to its antiquity, had partially deteriorated. In the year of our Lord 1535."
  38. "PATERNÒ, famiglia in "Dizionario Biografico"". (in italiano). Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  39. The oldest documents regarding the family are nine from 1083, 1106, 1113, 1122, 1134, 1143, 1148, 1193, and 1197. The documents from 1083 and 1113 are Apostolic Bulls from Pope Gregory VII and Pope Paschal II to the Archbishop of Palermo, Gualterio Paternò, son of Roberto d'Embrun, attesting to the recognition of the rights of the Diocese of Palermo. The subsequent documents mention the first and most immediate descendants of the progenitor of the Paternò House. In addition to these, there is a document from 1168 that testifies to the marriage between Costantino II and Matilde Avenel, granddaughter of the Grand Count Ruggero the Norman, as well as a document that is not available to us in its original version but is reported by D. Antonio Amico. It consists of the Roll of the Brotherhood of Nobles, erected by the Count of Embrun, where Roberto d'Embrun Paternò is mentioned among the first. See for further info
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 The genealogies of the House of Paternò are seven. The first was written in 1525, for inheritance reasons, by Alvaro Paternò, a Roman Senator, and does not trace back to the origins of the House. It was continued by P. Giuseppe Paternò S.J. and, on December 8, 1674, it was authenticated by the Senate of Catania and then deposited by D. Vincenzo Gioeni in the Acts of the Notary Principio Pappalardo of Catania on January 9, 1676, and is now preserved in the Acts of the aforementioned Notary in the Provincial State Archive of Catania. The second Genealogy was drawn up by Francesco Gioeni, Baron of Baglia, and Customs Officer of Milazzo, and continued by Giovan Battista Paternò, Baron of Ficazzari, until 1680. The third Genealogy, as just mentioned, was written as a continuation of the first by P Giuseppe Paternò S.J. The fourth Genealogy was compiled in 1642 by Scipione Paternò e Colonna, and due to the breadth and authoritative documentation attached to it, it has always been considered a true Historiography of the Paternò House. In particular, Scipione Paternò e Colonna has always been esteemed for his precision, to the extent that Antonio Varvaro Bruno, in his work ""Nuove indagini sulla contea di Paternò e Butera nel sec. XII", on pg. 548, states the following regarding Scipione Paternò e Colonna: "A reliable writer" who has never been "contradicted by contemporary and subsequent writers.". The fifth Genealogy was compiled by the Marquis Paternò of Raddusa at the end of the 1600s; the sixth, another significant Historiography, was written in 1650 by famous genealogist Filadelfo Mugnos, who, as is known, in both his works "Teatro Genologico delle Famiglie Nobili della Sicilia" and "Teatro della Nobiltà del Mondo," traced the historical profiles of the greatest families of the time. The seventh Genealogy is finally from September 9, 1721, and was drawn up as a Public Act in the form of testimony given to Notary Vincenzo Russo in the Great Archbishop's Royal Court of Catania, by Prince Paternò Castello di Biscari and ten other Lineage Heads of the Paternò family, who, intending to protect the heraldic rights of the members of the Paternò family belonging to the Lineage that had moved to Naples (Presicce and San Nicola Lineage), solemnly signed the genealogical tree of the entire Paternò House of Sicily, from its origin to the then-living member of the Paternò Lineage of San Nicola, encompassing all the members from whom the various Paternò Lineages had derived.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Study by Archivist of Palma de Mallorca, Josef Segua y Salado, "La Bandiera i l'Escut de les Baleares" ("The Flag and Coat of Arms of the Balearic Islands"); Study by Varvaro Bruno, A., "Nuove indagini sulla contea di Paternò e Butera nel sec. XII" ("New Investigations on the County of Paternò and Butera in the 12th Century"); Study in the Heraldic Magazine, December 1931, and "Hauteville e Paternò" in the Heraldic Magazine, January 20, 1933; Study in the Heraldic Magazine, November 20, 1930, by the Count of Sexon.
  42. Enciclopedia Treccani, Vol. XVI, section "Paternò", Enciclopedia RizzolI.Larousse, section "Paternò" G. Delaville Le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l'Ordre des Hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jerusalem, Paris 1897, t. II, docc. 1347, 1441, 2069, 2155.
  43. Original writing from the 11th century. Please refer to Raffaele Starrabba book, "I diplomi della cattedrale di Messina" ("The Charters of the Cathedral of Messina"), (Collected by Antonino Amico and Illustrated by Raffaele Starrabba), Palermo, 1876.
  44. In 1150, Petronilla, the last of the House of Jimenez and heir to the Kingdom of Aragon marries Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona. Through this marriage, the Couty of Barcelona merged with the Kingdom of Aragon crearting the Crown of Aragon.The discendents of Petronilla, decided to adopt the mother's appellation (Aragon) as surname, but maintain the male line coat of arms of House Barcelona.
  45. See the Encyclopedie, Lucca, 1766, Vol. II, XX, which recalls how the coat of arms of the Paternò family appears among the quarters of the coat of arms of the Spanish Sovereign House. Finally, compare the work of Count de Sexon, in the Heraldic Magazine of November 20, 1930, which presents various evidence and documents that Robert d'Embrun bore the same coat of arms as the Sovereign House of Barcelona and Aragon.
  46. Please refer in particular to the Letter ("Atti dei Giurati" / Acts of the Jurats, 1516, f. 244) that the Jurats of Catania wrote to Pope Paul II in April 1469 to recommend Giovanni Paternò (later Archbishop of Palermo, Cardinal of Palermo, and three times President of the Kingdom). In this letter, the Jurats, while describing the nobility of Giovanni (whose tomb bears the coat of arms of the Paternò-Barcellona), noted, among other things, that Count Ruggero had wanted the Paternò Coat of Arms to be placed next to his own and that of the City of Catania above the architrave of the Cathedral of Catania. The devastating earthquake at the end of the 1600s caused these coats of arms to fall, and they were never put back in place.
  47. For example, Matteo Paternò (14th century), was a Royal Judge in 1301 and 1306; Gualtiero Paternò, the first Baron of Burgio, served as Lieutenant of the Chief Justice of Sicily in 1300; Benedetto Paternò, the second Baron of Burgio, was a Royal Knight, Judge of Catania in 1306 and 1309, and Cavalier of King Louis I of Sicily.
  48. Cypres Paternò fought for James II, King of Aragon, and followed him to Spain in 1292, becoming the progenitor of a Spanish-based Paternò lineage (extinct in the 17th century) known as "Paternoy." See Mugnos, "Teatro della Nobiltà del Mondo," Naples, 1680, p. 297.
  49. F. Mugnos, “Teatro della Nobiltà del Mondo”, Napoli, 1680 p. 297
  50. 50.0 50.1 G. Delaville Le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l'Ordre des Hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jerusalem, Paris 1897, t. II, docc. 1347, 1441, 2069, 2155.
  51. Dobson, John Blythe. "Europäische Stammtafeln: Tables of Contents for volumes 1-23". Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  52. Enciclopedia Treccani, Voce Paternò, Vol. XVI, p.. 504 (1935)
  53. Enciclopedia Rizzoli-Larousse, voce Paternò.
  54. Lecourt, Dominique (2005), Nemeth, Elisabeth; Roudet, Nicolas, eds., "L'Encyclopedie Vue Par Diderot", Paris — Wien: Enzyklopädien im Vergleich, Veröffentlichungen des Instituts Wiener Kreis (in français), Vienna: Springer, pp. 65–71, doi:10.1007/3-211-33320-7_4, ISBN 978-3-211-33320-4, retrieved 2023-05-19
  55. "CATALONIA". Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  56. The extinction of the House of Provence in the House of Barcelona occurred through various unions: (i) Bernardo I of Barcelona and Count of Besalú married Toda of Provence (presumed daughter of William I the Liberator, Count of Gap, Forcalquier, and Embrun), (ii) Ermengol I of Barcelona and Count of Urgell married Tetberga of Provence (presumed daughter of Rotbold II, Count of Provence - please see l'Europäische Stammtafeln, vol II, 187), (iii) Ramon Berengar III, Count of Barcelona married Douce I of Provence, Countess of Provence and Gévaudan for one year before relinquishing the title to her husband, (iv) Ermengol IV married the last remaining Provence at that time, Adelaide of Forcalquier. This marriage marked the definitive extinction of the House of Provence into House of Barcelona.
  57. Pons i Guri & Palou i Miquel 2002, Doc 12, pp. 41–43.
  58. According to Europäische Stammtafeln, Toda could have been the daughter of William I of Provence (or possibly William II Sánchez of Gascony). It has been suggested that she was the means through which the exotic Byzantine name Constance, the feminine form of Constantine, entered Spain. Boso II of Arles had married Constance, presumed daughter of Charles Constantine and granddaughter of Emperor Louis III through Anna, daughter of Leo VI the Wise. Boso's son, William I of Provence, married Adelaide of Anjou; therefore, both Adelaide and Constance are in his pool of names. If Bernard I 's wife was indeed the daughter of William I, this would explain the name of Bernard's eldest daughter and possibly the name of a certain Constance, wife of Sancho Garcés, the illegitimate son of García Sánchez III of Pamplona, and daughter of García's wife, Stefania, from a previous marriage, perhaps with an unnamed son of Bernard of Besalú.
  59. Junyent, Eduardo; Vich), Oliba (Bishop of (1992). Diplomatari i escrits literaris de l'abat i bisbe Oliba (in Latina). Institut d'Estudis Catalans. ISBN 978-84-7283-204-6. Search this book on
  60. Enrique Flórez, Manuel Risco (1832). España Sagrada: Theatro geographico-historico de la Iglesia de España. Origen, divisiones, y ... (in Spanish). New York Public Library. A. Marin.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link) Search this book on
  61. "CATALONIA". Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  62. "Guglielmo I di Provenza", Wikipedia (in italiano), 2022-12-26, retrieved 2023-05-19
  63. The Carolingians merged into House of Provence through two marriages. The first was between Lothair II of Lotharingia, King of Lotharingia and great-grandson of Charlemagne (King of the Franks) and Teutberga of the House of Provence. The second marriage was that of their daughter, Bertha of Lotharingia, who in turn married Tebaldo of Arles, also from the House of Provence. From this union we then have Boso of Provene, Margrave of Tuscany, then Rotboldo I of Provence, then Boso II of Arles, which was the father of William I of Provence (which, in turn, was the great-great-grandfather of Roberto d'Embrun).
  64. For example, Hugh of Provence, brother of Boso of Provence, Margrave of Tuscany, was King of Italy.
  65. Enciclopedia Treccani, Voce Paternò, Vol. XXVI, p. 504.
  66. 66.0 66.1 Francesco, Duke of Carcaci, I Paternò di Sicilia, Catania, 1934.
  67. "I Paternò - Linee Antiche". 2010-09-21. Archived from the original on 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  68. In 1737, an epigraphic plaque was discovered dating from 1168 and is currently housed in the Museum of Catania. At the time of its discovery, it was studied by Italian historian Vito Amico and Giacinto Paternò Bonaiuto. Amico reported the finding in his "Lexicon siculum" in 1757, and also trascribed the words which were later translated by Bibliographer Gioacchino Di Marzo in the "Dizionario topografico della Sicilia" of 1856 (vol. II, pp. 322-323) and read: "Repairing a road in Catania in the year 1730 on the northern side of the college of the Society of Jesus, the workers came across a broken plaque in which, upon examination, read in large Gothic letters: '[...] DE PATERNIONE. MILITI. VIRO. ARMIS. EGREGIO. BV... RTANAE. COMITI. ROBERTI. FILIO. MATHILDIS. UXOR. ... POSUIT DIE VIII APRILIS ANNO M. C. LXVIII.'", which translates to: "Constantino De Paternione, a distinguished knight renowned for his military prowess, husband of Mathildis and son of Count Robert, from the lands of Bucheri and Partanna, sadly placed [this plaque] on the 8th of April in the year 1168." The abbreviation "BV" was interpreted as BVCCHERI and, in fact, the 17th-century biographers (Scipione Paternò e Colonna and P. Giuseppe Paternò) who reconstructed the Paternò family genealogy claimed that the first Roberto Paternò, contemporary of the Grand Count Ruggero, was the lord of Buccheri. However, recent studies by Antonio Varvaro Bruno have reinterpreted the meaning to "Butere" and the inscription should read as follows: "CONSTANTINO DE PARTENIONE MILITI VIRO ARMIS EGREGIO BVTERE CUM MARTANE COMITI ROBERTI FILIO MATHILDIS UXOR MOESTISSIMA POSUIT DIE VIII APRILIS ANNO M. C. LXVIII."
  69. Constantino II was a witness in at least two charters (respectively dated August 5, 1143, and November 30, 1148) issued by Simon of Sicily. Simon was a relative of Constantino, being born from the second marriage of Flandina of Hauteville (who was mother-in-law of Roberto d'Embrun) with Henry del Vasto.
  70. Matilde dell'Aquila, Drengot and Hauteville was the daughter of Rainaldo dell'Aquila and of Adelicia Drengot. Adelecia Drengot was daughter of Rainulf of Alife Drengot (aka as Ranulf III) and Matilda Hauteville. Matilda was the daughter of Roger I of Sicily and sister of both Flandina of Hauteville and Roger II of Sicily. (please also see Houben, Hubert (2002). Roger II of Sicily: Ruler between East and West. Translated by Loud, Graham A.; Milburn, Diane. Cambridge University Press)
  71. Please refer to: "Atti dei Giurati", 1516, f. 244, "Letters of the Jurats of Catania". In this collection, the Jurats of Catania wrote to Pope Paul II in April 1469 to recommend Giovanni Paternò (later Archbishop of Palermo, Cardinal of Palermo, and three times President of the Kingdom). In this letter, the Jurats, while describing Giovanni's nobility (on whose tomb the Paternò-Barcellona coat of arms is displayed), observed, among other things, that Roger I of Sicily had wanted the Paternò coat of arms to be placed alongside his own and that of the City of Catania above the architrave of the Cathedral of Catania. However, the devastating earthquake at the end of the 1600s caused those coats of arms to fall, and they were never restored to their original positions.
  72. 72.0 72.1 Bruno Varvaro, Nuove indagini sulla contea di Paternò e Butera nel sec. XII, in Rivista Araldica, n. 4 - dicembre 1931, pag 547
  73. Federico Paternò, the brother of Roberto Paternò, Prior of Centuripe, had to leave in exile
  74. 74.0 74.1 74.2 Enciclopedia Treccani, “Paternò” Vol. XXVI pag. 505.
  75. Another example is the one of "Terza Sorella" obtained by Sigismondo Paternò of Terza Dogana, Ambassador to Aragon and Royal Knight. In 1518, he obtained from Charles II (later Emperor Charles V) the privilege in favor of the city of Catania known as the "Third Sister," which equated Catania with Palermo and Messina, elevating it to the dignity of the capital of the Kingdom.
  76. Denis Mack Smith, “Storia della Sicilia Medioevale e moderna”, Universale La Terza, p. 377.
  77. This line could not be strictly classified as a Paternò line, so much so that in the book "Elenco Nobiliare Siciliano" published in 2004 by the Body of Italian Nobility, Sicilian Heraldic-Genealogical Commission, this House is listed as Battiato Paternò Castello and is not included among the Paternò lines. However, in the Albo d'Oro (Golden Book), it is listed among the Paternò lines.
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 78.3 "Dott. A. Mango di Casalgerardo, NOBILIARIO DI SICILIA".[permanent dead link]
  79. 79.0 79.1 It became extinct in the Borghese family with the marriage in 1927 between Angela Paternò, lady-in-waiting to H.M. the Queen of Italy, and the 7th Princess of Sperlinga dei Manganelli, to Don Flavio Principe Borghese, the 12th Prince of Sulmona.
  80. The line of the Princes of Valdisavoia is now known as Moncada Paternò Castello (instead of Paternò Castello) after Gaspare Paternò Castello of the Barons of Galizzi added the surname Moncada to his own in 1707 due to an inherited commitment from an uncle Moncada (brother of his grandmother Margherita).
  81. Mugnos (1650). Teatro Genealogico delle Famiglia nobili di Sicilia. 3. p. 26. Search this book on
  82. Gonzales Paternò married Isabella of Aragon, who was the great-granddaughter of King Juan of Navarre and Aragon and the daughter of Don Alfonso, Count of Ribacorge, and Isabella, who was the daughter of the Duke of Cardona.
  83. Wedding between SIlvia Paternò di Spedalotto and S.A.R. il Principe Amedeo di Savoia, Duca d'Aosta
  84. Don Lorenzo Paternò di San Nicola, the 2nd Marquess of Casanova, 1st Count of Montecupo (1714-1793), married Doña Emanuela Ibanez de Mendoza of the Marquesses of Mondejar (Montescar), daughter of Don Vicente Ibanez de Mendoza, and granddaughter of Don Jose Ibanez de Mendoza, Cardines, Cordoba y Argon, 12th Count of Tondilla, 10th Marquess of Mondejar, from the Dukes of Infantado, Grandees of Spain, and a descendant of the Royal House of Navarre/Jimenez.
  85. Alessandro Paternò Castello (XIII Duca di Carcaci) marries Charlotte Legge, daughter of Raine Spencer, Countess Spencer who married, in as a second time, John the 8th Ealr of Spencer, father of Lady Diana.
  86. Olivella Paternò, daughter of Tommaso Paternò, and grand-daughter of Simone Paternò (-1196) marries in 1297 Enrico Grimaldi, of the Lords of Monaco
  87. Don Achille (1870-1924) of the Marquises of Regiovanni, etc., married (1894) Donna Luisa Alliata, daughter of Prince Don Giovanni and Donna Marianna Notarbartolo e Pignatelli of the Princes of Sciara.
  88. Franceschiello, IV Baron of the Supplementi of Trapani, Mazzara, and Sciacca, married Agatuzza Asmundo (c. 1475); Eleonora, daughter of Giacinto (1645-1693), II Baron of Bicocca, of the Princes of Biscari, married Baldassarre Asmundo, etc.
  89. Don Riccardo (1913-1995), Knight Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of the Marquises of Toscano, married (1939) Donna Maria Bonaccorsi of the Princes of Reburdone.
  90. Ruggero (?-1193/1197), the third Count of Buccheri and Lord of Paternò (also mentioned in a document dated September 9, 1193, which certified a donation by Count Bartolomeo de Luci to the Monastery of Santa Maria di Roccamadore, and also cited by the renowned heraldist F. Mugnos), married Gaudiosa Bonello, daughter of Matteo Bonello, one of the first Barons of the Kingdom under King William I.
  91. Don Giuseppe (1849-1921), Baron of Cugno, married Stefanina Bonanno.
  92. Donna Anna (1681) married Giovanni Branciforte, of the Princes of Scordia, in her second marriage.
  93. Don Santo Paternò di Sessa married Maria Leonora Gravina Cruyllas, Princess of Valdisavoja (1773). Donna Maria Gaetana married Carlo Gravina Cruyllas, Prince of Valdisavoja (c.1825). Don Consalvo, IV Baron of Villasmundo, married Donna Teresa Gravina Cruyllas of the Princes of Montevago (c.1750), and so on.
  94. For example, Vincenzo (1630-1675), the 2nd Prince of Biscari, 10th Baron of Aragona, Cuba, and Sparacogna, Baron of the Supplimenti of Mazzara, Trapani, and Sciacca, and the 7th Baron of Biscari, married Felicia Gravina Cruyllas of the Princes of Palagonia.
  95. Don Gaetano Maria (1798-1854), the 8th Duke of Carcaci, 6th Baron of Placa and Bajana, etc., married for a second time in 1848 to Donna Fernanda Grifeo, daughter of Don Vincenzo VIII Prince of Partanna and Donna Agata Gravina, Princess of Palagonia and Lercara.
  96. Don Vincenzo (1861-1918), the 15th Marquess of Regiovanni, 4th Marquess of Spedalotto, etc., married in 1886 Donna Silvia Lanza Filingeri, daughter of Don Giuseppe Antonio, the 1st Prince of Mirto, and Donna Silvia Paternò, Princess of Sperlinga dei Manganelli.
  97. Giovannello, the 5th Baron of Terza Dogana (1502), married Francesca Moncada, daughter of Pietro, Baron of Ferla. Sigismondo, also known as "il Virtuoso," who served as an Ambassador to Aragon in 1492, married Donna Alda Moncada of the Barons of Ferla in his second marriage.
  98. Don Giuseppe Alvaro (1842-1916), the 13th Prince of Sperlinga delli Manganelli, 6th Duke of Palazzo, etc., married (1864) Donna Felicia Monroy, of the Princes of Pandolfina (+1865). Don Achille (1951-), the 18th Marquis of Regiovanni (1625), 33rd Baron of Regiovanni, married (1985) Donna Anna Maria Monroy, daughter of Don Salvatore, Duke of Giampilieri, and Donna Antonietta Gagliardo, Baroness of Carpinello.
  99. Don Ignazio (1913-1964), of the Princes of Biscari, married (1942) Donna Gaetana Nicolacci, daughter of Prince Nicolacci di Villadorata.
  100. Don Ettore (1815-1894), the 14th Marquis of Regiovanni, the 8th Count of Prades, etc., married (1859) Donna Rosalia Vanni d'Archirafi, daughter of Don Giuseppe Vanni and Filingeri, the 4th Duke of Archirafi, and Donna Francesca Notarbartolo of the Princes of Sciara. Don Gian Luigi (1942-2015), of the Marquis of Toscano, married (1971) Donna Barbara, of the Princes Notarbartolo of Sciara. Don Antonio (1904-1989), the 9th Marquis of San Giuliano, etc., married (1930) Maria Giulia Notarbartolo, of the Principi di Sciara.
  101. Francesco (1412-1471), the 2nd Baron of Imbaccari and of the Supplimenti of Mazzara, Trapani, and Sciacca, and the 1st Baron of Granirei (1453), Maestro di Campo of King Alfonso V, married Lionetta Platamone, daughter of the Viceroy of the Kingdom of Sicily, Baron Battista Platamone.
  102. Nicola, the 3rd Baron of Burgio and the 1st Baron of Pantano Salso, married Giovannella Spadafora in his second marriage. Orazio (1631-1693), Baron of Sigona, of the Princes of Biscari, married Anna Spadafora and Sanseverino, of the Princes of Maletto, in 1666. Donna Marfisa also married Muzio Spadafora, Prince of Maletto, in her second marriage, among others.
  103. Donna Agata Paternò married Gaspare Statella, Baron of Melinventre, in 1675. Don Antonino Paternò married Enrichetta Statella and Trabucco of the Counts of Castagneto in 1875. Olimpia Paternò married Giovanni Statella in 1600.
  104. Don Camillo (1855-1879) married Maria Stagno, daughter of the Princes d'Alcontres, in 1872.
  105. Don Ettore (1815-1894), the 14th Marquis of Regiovanni, 8th Count of Prades, 3rd Marquis of Spedalotto, etc., married Donna Rosalia Vanni d'Archirafi in 1859. Rosalia was the daughter of Don Giuseppe Vanni and Filingeri IV Duke of Archirafi, and Donna Francesca Notarbartolo of the Princes of Sciara.
  106. Gualterio (1381+1432), the 5th Baron of Burgio and Ambassador of the Aragonese to Pope Martin V, married Elisabetta Ventimiglia in 1411. Elisabetta was the daughter of Enrico VII, Count of Geraci, and Bartolomea d'Aragona of the Counts of Cammarata. Elisabetta Ventimiglia descended from Emperor Frederick II and King Martin of Aragon. Geronimo, Baron of Vallone (1533), married Beatricella Ventimiglia of the Barons of Passaneto in his second marriage in 1507. Don Vincenzo, the 1st Marquis of Regiovanni, married Donna Maria Concetta Ventimiglia of the Princes of Grammonte around 1800, and so on.
  107. Donna Angela (1901-1973), the 15th Princess of Sperlinga delli Manganelli, 8th Duchess of Palazzo, 15th Baroness of Manganelli, married Don Flavio Borghese, the 12th Prince of Sulmona and 8th Prince of Manganelli.
  108. Donna Giovanna (1941) married Marchese Giulio Cattaneo della Volta in 1962.
  109. Don Diego (1970), of the Marchesi di San Giuliano, etc., married Donna Elisabetta Fiona Corsini, of the Principi di Sismano, in 2003.
  110. For example, Don Giovan Battista (1847-1916), the II Marchese del Toscano and V Duca di Roccaromana, married Donna Maria Teresa Caracciolo, the V Duchessa di Roccaromana and Principessa di Caspoli, in 1867.
  111. Don Ludovico (1897-1974), the Marchese Paternò, VIII Marchese di Casanova, X Duca di San Nicola, and XIII Duca di Pozzomauro, married Donna Elena del Pezzo, the daughter of Don Nicola dei Duchi di Caianello and Maria Pia Buonocore, in 1930.
  112. Donna Olimpia (1830-1911), Patrizia di Benevento, Patrizia Napoletano, Patrizia di Catania, married Don Francesco de Liguoro dei Principi di Presicce, Patrizio Napoletano, in 1854. Don Pasquale Maria (1865-1952), the Marchese Paternò, VII Marchese di Casanova, VII Conte di Montecupo, IX Duca di San Nicola, and XII Duca di Pozzomauro, married Donna Amalia de Liguoro, the daughter of Don Francesco Maria dei Principi di Presicce and Donna Olimpia Paternò dei Marchesi di Casanova, in 1887.
  113. Niccolò, a Royal Knight (1368), married Giovanna Filingeri, of the Barons of San Marco.
  114. Olivella Paternò, daughter of Rommaso Paternò and granddaughter of Simone Paternò (-1196), married Enrico Grimaldi, a Genoese patrician of the Lords of Monaco, in 1297.
  115. Donna Isabella (1892-1948), Patrizia of Benevento, Patrizia of Naples, Patrizia of Catania, married Don Giuseppe Imperiali, of the Princes of Francavilla, Patrizio of Naples, in 1916.
  116. Donna Olivella (1940) married N.H. Conte Girolamo Marcello del Majno, Patrizio Veneto, in 1967.
  117. Don Alfonso Maria (1866-1948), VIII Conte di Montecupo, married Donna Maria Giannuzzi Savelli, daughter of Don Raffaele XI Principe di Cerenzia, Patrizio di Cosenza, and Donna Giulia Mastrilli dei Duchi di Marigliano, in 1912.
  118. Per esempio: (i) Discendenti del matrimonio di Costantino II Paternò, Conte di Butera, che sposò Matilde dell’Aquila, Drengot ed Altavilla, Contessa di Avenel, e nipote di Ruggero il Normanno; (ii) al matrimonio di Gualterio Paternò con Elisabetta Ventimiglia, dei Conti di Geraci, la cui madre era Bartolomea d’Aragona e il cui quadrisavolo in linea paterna era l’Imperatore Federico II; (iii) al matrimonio di Ludovico Paternò con doña Emanuela Ibanez de Mendoza dei Marchesi di Mondejar (Montescar), e discendente della Casa Reale di Navarra; (iv) al matriminio di Vincenzo Paternò con Donna Maria Concetta Ventimiglia, principessa di Grammonte e Contessa di Prades, erede anche essa degli Svevi; (v) al matrimonio di Alfonso Paternò di San Nicola con Maria Giannuzzi Savelli, Principessa di Cerenzia, discendente dei Savoia e di varie altre Case Reali.
  119. "William the Conqueror". Retrieved 2023-05-20.
  120. Mugnos, “Theatro Genologico….” p. 21 e “Teatro della nobiltà del mondo” p. 297
  121. Curita, Anales, c. 65, 1. 20, f. 341
  122. Re Giovanni, Lop Ximen Durrea, viceré. Palermo 26 gennaio II Ind. 1468 (R. Canc. f. 84).
  123. The church also holds the sixteenth-century chapel of the Paternò family, which includes a Pietà-style sculpture of Antonello Gagini.
  124. Harvard University (1897). Elenco dei cavalieri del S.M.ordine di S. Giovanni di Gerusalemme ricevuti ... Lib.Detken & Rocholl. Retrieved 2023-05-16. Search this book on
  125. In 1757, the Academy of Good Taste and the Society of Ereini in Palermo, in 1762 the Society of Antiquaries in London, in 1772 the Academy of Transformed in Noto, in 1773 the Society of Palladi in Catania, in 1775 the Academy of Botanophiles in Cortona, in 1776 the Academies of Georgofili in Florence, Crusca, Pericolanti Peloritani in Messina, in 1777 the Academy of Ereini-Hymerei in Caltanissetta, in 1778 the Academy of Fine Letters, Sciences and Arts in Bordeaux, where he took the place of the late Voltaire, in 1779 the Academy of Sciences and Fine Letters in Naples, in 1783 the Academy of Speculators in Lecce, in 1784 the New Royal Academy in Florence, and the Academy of Numbered Arcadians in Rome." See G. Guzzetta, "Per la gloria di Catania: Ignazio Paternò Castello Principe di Biscari" Agorà, July-September 2001.
  126. Lidia Storoni Mazzoleni, “Il Ragionamento del Principe di Biscari a madama N.N.”, Sellerio p. 24
  127. In his book "La Sicilia" (Fratelli Treves - 1897), French author Gaston Vuillier, who stayed at the palce, describes the location as follows: "On the walls, painted in a pale green, delicate volutes intertwine whimsically and unfold on the ceiling in a dome adorned with airy paintings. The doors are embellished with matte and glossy gold ornaments. The decorative beauty of this room, which was a chamber with tightly closed curtains, surprises me. Clearly, this is an ancient palace. Its slightly faded beauty in bright light retains all its splendor in semi-darkness. I open the window and step onto the balcony that wraps around the entire floor, and I am dazzled." And further: "...In short, with its plasterwork, Venetian shutters, and Baroque doors, the frescoes with allegories by Gioacchino Martorana, a Sicilian painter from the 18th century, found only in a few contemporary Palermitan palaces (Palazzo Comitini, Palazzo D'Orleans, Palazzo Reale); the 18th-century chamber with its cherubs, grapevines, and doves intertwining the love nest, make "its collections" even more precious - the paintings, the marital trunks from the 16th and 17th centuries permanently displayed there; as well as Sicilian ceramics, devotional bricks, etc.; Neapolitan and French porcelain, etc.; scrolls, vases, fans, embroideries, edged and firearms, etc., which enrich the exhibitions time after time, evoking that "most happy Palermo" mentioned so much in ancient and modern books and magazines and praised by the "travelers" of that time...".
  128. Francesco Renda, “ Tanucci ed i beni dei Gesuiti in Sicilia”, Ed. di Storia e Letteratura, Roma 1974., pp 126 e 127
  129. 129.0 129.1 With the Decree of November 23, 1892, the Heraldic Consultation declared that the title of Prince of Presicce belonged to the Duke of San Nicola, Don Pasquale Maria Paternò. However, the recognition was postponed until the original documents proving the ownership of said title by the Duke's predecessor were presented. Therefore, since the title belongs to the predecessor's heirs (the House of Liguoro) since 1712, the title of Prince of Presicce rightfully belongs to the heirs of Duke Pasquale by inalienable right.
  130. 130.0 130.1 Donna Maria Savelli di Cerenzia, mother of the brothers Roberto Paternò di San Nicola, Count of Montecupo, and Renato Paternò di San Nicola, was the last of her house, along with her two brothers Emilio and Giulio, who respectively held the titles of the 9th and 10th Princes of Cerenzia. Both brothers passed away without descendants. The Heraldic Commission for the Neapolitan Provinces, in its ruling of October 17, 1981, and the Central Heraldic Board of the Italian Nobility, in its ruling of February 16, 1982, expressed a favorable opinion regarding the restoration of the title of Prince of Cerenzia (1697) to the descendants of Maria Savelli in order of primogeniture. See also M. Pellicano Castagna, "Storia dei Feudi e dei titoli nobiliari della Calabria" (History of Feuds and Noble Titles of Calabria) Editrice CBC, entry on Cerenzia, pp. 89-96, which supports the argument that the Paternò family did not even need such authorization as they succeeded de jure to this title.
  131. This is because in 1763, during a severe famine, Ignazio Paternò Castello, the 5th Prince of Biscari, opened his private granaries and maintained the entire town of Catania for several months at his own expense "Palazzo Biscari - Catania". Retrieved 2023-05-15.


  • A Abate, “Esequie del Duca di Carcaci”, Catania, 1854
  • Alvaro Paternò, Genealogia Domus Paternionum, Paternò Archive in Comune of Catania, 1525
  • "Fondo Paternò di Raddusa di Catania (1345-1870)", State Archive of Catania
  • Bruno Varvaro, "Nuove indagini sulla contea di Paternò e Butera nel sec. XII", in the Rivista Araldica, n. 4 - December 1931
  • Bruno Varvaro, "Hauteville e Paternò", in the Rivista Araldica, n. 1 - 20 January 1933
  • B. Muscia, "Sicilia Nobilis sive Nomina et Cognomina Comitum, Baronum, et Feudatariorum Regni Siciliae Anno 1296 sub Friderico II vulgo III et anno 1408 sub Martino II Siciliae Regibus, Roma 1692"; Sec: "Paternò"
  • Carlo Alberto Garufi, “Archivio Storico della Sicilia Orientale”, anno IX, 1912
  • Carlo Alberto Garufi, “Gli Aleramici e i Normanni” Palermo 1910, Vol. I
  • Davide Shama’, "Genealogie delle Famiglie Nobili Italiane (, refer to "La Storia della Casa Paternò: gli elementi essenziali", of D. Sandri
  • Denis Mack Smith, “Storia della Sicilia Medioevale e moderna”, Universale Laterza (1970) pages 376–377.
  • Dott. A. Mango di Casalgerardo, "Nobiliario di Sicilia", Reference: Paternò, Palermo, 1912
  • Enciclopedia Treccani Vol. XXVI, Reference "Paternò", written by prof. Giuseppe Paladino of Catania University (1935)
  • Enciclopedia Treccani, Online Edition (, written by Serena Falletta (2014)
  • F. Ughello, Antonius Paternò, "Nobilis neapolitanus", Palermo,1729
  • Filadelfo Mugnos, "Teatro Genologico Delle Famiglie Nobili Titolate Feudatarie Ed Antiche Nobili Del Fidelissimo Regno Di Sicilia Viventi Ed Estinte", 1650, p. 20-28 (reference "Paternò")
  • Filadelfo Mugnos, "Teatro della nobiltà del mondo", 1654, p. 297 (reference "Paternò")
  • Francesco Gioeni, "Genealogia dei Paternò", Palermo, 1680
  • Francesco Paternò Castello di Carcaci, £I Paternò di Sicilia", Catania, 1936
  • Francesco Paternò Castello, "Saggio storico-politico sulla Sicilia dal cominciamento del secolo 19 sino al 1830", Catania, 1848
  • Gaetano Savasta, "Storia di Paternò", Catania 1905
  • Geronimo Curita, "Anales de la Corona de Aragon, chronica de dicho Reyno", book IX, chapter. 3, page. II, f. 284; book XIII, chapter 55, f. 188 e chapter 58, f. 192; book XVI, page. 4, chapter 8, f. 10; chapter 65, 1. 20, f. 341
  • Giuseppe Paternò de' Spedalotto, "I Paternò. Cenno storico", Palermo, 1880
  • Guido Carrelli, "Hauteville e Paternò", in Rivista Araldica, n.3, 1932
  • G Agnello, “Il Museo Biscari di Catania nella Storia della Cultura Illuministica del ‘700”, Archivio Storico della Sicilia Orientale, 1957
  • G.B. Di Crollalanza, "Dizionario storico-blasonico delle famiglie nobili e notabili italiane estinte e fiorenti", 2 voll., Pisa 1886 (rist. an. Bologna 1981), II, p. 295
  • G.E. Paternò di Sessa, F. Paternò, "Dell'origine regia e aragonese dei Paternò di Sicilia", in Rivista Araldica, Fascicolo n. 6, giugno 191 (
  • G. Delaville Le Roulx, "Cartulaire général de l'Ordre des Hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jerusalem", Paris 1897
  • G. Guzzetta: “Per la gloria di Catania: Ignazio Paternò Castello Principe di Biscari”, Agorà, "luglio- settembre", 2001
  • G. Libertini, "Il Museo Biscari", Milano 1930.
  • James, John E. (Editor), "Almanach de Gotha", Published by Almanach de Gotha, London, 2019, Vol III - The Non-Sovereign Princely and Ducal Houses of Europe, Voce Paternò
  • Josep Segua i Salado, “El regne de Mallorca: la bandera i l'escut de les Balears”, Archivista Palma de Maiorca, 1980
  • "Libro d'Oro della Nobiltà Italiana" Ed. 2015-2019 e preced.ti., Ed. Collegio Araldico - Roma
  • Legal Opinion: The Fons Honorum of the House of Paternò Castello
  • Maria Concetta Calabrese, "I Paternò di Raddusa", C.U.E.C.M. 1998
  • Maria Concetta Calabrese, "Devozione e potere in Sicilia in età moderna: il Caso Biscari", 2009
  • Salvatore Distefano, "Ragusa Nobilissima - Una famiglia della Contea di Modica attraverso le fonti e i documenti d'archivio, contributo alla Historia Familiae Baronum Cutaliae, Ancillae et Fundi S. Laurentii", RICERCHE, 2006, pages 109-160
  • Scipione Paternò e Colonna, "Storiografia della Casa Paternò", Catania, 1642
  • Vincenzo Notaro Russo, "Genealogia della Casa Paternò", 1721, Archivio Comune di Catania
  • Vittorio Pavone, "Biografia di Ignazio Paternò Castello, V principe di Biscari: un uomo di vera cultura, generoso e di straordinarie intuizioni ", 2010
  • V. Amico, "Catana illustrata, sive sacra et civilis urbis Catanae historia", 2 voll., Catania 1741-46 (rist. an. Catania 1990)
  • V. Amico, “Sicilia Sacra” 1742
  • V. Librando, “Il Palazzo Biscari” in Cronache di Archeologia e di Storia dell'Arte, 1964, n. 3 p. 104 e ss

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