1895; in the Official Registers of the Italian Nobility of 1922 and 1933 as well
as in the 1934-36 supplement; Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo – issued by
Decree of the Ministry of the Interior on 15 Jun. 1936 in recognition of the
registrant’s father, Commodore Umberto, K Sts Maurice Lazzarus, K Crown Italy,
President chair agriculture province Cuneo, Mayor Morozzo, Councilor Mondově, b.
Mondově 6 Dec. 1864 † Mondově 4 Aug. 1949 (son Major General Marquis Cesare, b.
1829 † 1903, and Sofia née Lanza of the Counts of Busca, b. 1832 † 1909), m.
Genoa 7 Sept. 1891 Amelia née Chiappella, b. Genova 20 Dec. 1870 † Mondově 10
Jan. 1950 (dau. Giuseppe, MD Hospice Poor Genoa, and Noble Virginia de Katt, b.
1835 † 1877).
Family History: Tradition would
have the family descend from Dux Franciscus Corderius, described as ob cognitam
militarem virtutem dux fuit constitutus Hispanis legionibus quibus cum multa
laude praefuit; and who is said to have fought in the siege of Antioch with
Bohemund of Taranto. On his return home to Spain from the First Crusade, he
supposedly settled in what later became the city of Mondově in Piedmont.
Circumstantial evidence would encourage this tale as the name Francesco (or
Franco) was at the time used to indicate a knight who had returned from the
Crusades and was therefore no longer subject to obligations from higher lords.
The meaning of the surname Cordero is unsure: it may indicate the heart of God (Cor
Deo), hence the family crest, or a ropesman (Cordaro), hence the bow. Mondově,
on the other hand, was founded in 1198 when a number of small towns united and
formed a commune (the city-state of Mons Regalis, later Mondově) free from
feudal subjection on the basis that many of the inhabitants had fought in the
A properly documented genealogy is, however, kept in the Cathedral and State
archives of Mondově and begins in the early XV century.
The surname Cordero has nevertheless continuously appeared at the forefront of
the free city of Mondově, Piedmont’s – and later Italy’s – history. Records
recall that Guglielmo Cordero was elected mayor of Mondově in 1198, 1202 and
1212; Enrico and Giovanni the same respectively in 1250 and 1300. Many more
family members held this office over the following centuries.
Baldassarre Cordero brought a printing press from Genoa to Mondově and published
the first printed book in Piedmont in 1472. In the following centuries, the
family divided into numerous branches such as those of the Governors; the Counts
of Belvedere; the Lords of Roasio and of the Marquisate of Ceva; the Marquises
of Pamparato and Counts of Roburent; the Counts of Vonzo and Lords of Cocconato;
the Counts of San Quintino; and the Marquises of Montezemolo.
armorial brizures include: in chief: a crossbow instead of a bow; two stars
above the bow; six pointed stars; in base: three bends instead of two; crest: an
demi-eagle crowned Or.
History further recalls Ionnaes Franciscus Cordero (1508 † 1553), Cavalry
Commander under the Dukes of Savoy; Giovanni Battista Cordero, Colonel commander
of 1,000 infantry and Governor of Revello, Verrua and Susa, and his son
Bernardino († 1670), also a Colonel and Governor of Bard and Susa; the Abbot
Simone Cordero of Belvedere (1636 † 1686), Receiver of the Sacred Militia and
Religion of the Order of Sts Maurice and Lazzarus and Ambassador of the Duke of
Savoy to the Holy See; the Very Reverend Giovanni Andrea Cordero (1649 † 1732),
declared a Venerable Servant of God by HH Clement XII and buried in the Church
of Our Lady of Aracoeli in the Campidoglio in Rome; Captain Donato Cordero
Marquis of Pamparato (1753 † 1833), Grandee of the Crown of Savoy, and his (a)
brother, General Gioacchino Cordero Count of Roburent (1756 † 1827), Grand
Master of the Royal House of Savoy, Knight of the Most Holy Order of the
Annunciation (20 Jun. 1812), buried in the Sanctuary of Regina Montis Regalis;
and (b) son, Major General Stanislao Cordero Marquis of Pamparato (1797 † 1863),
Senator, aide-de-camp to HM King Carlo Alberto and Grandee of the Crown of
Savoy; Giulio Cordero of the Counts of San Quintino (1778 † 1857), archeologist
and Director of the Royal Egyptian Museum in Turin; the Hon. Massimo Cordero
Marquis of Montezemolo (1807 † 1879), Governor and Prefect of numerous Italian
cities, MP, Senator and Viceroy of Sicily, and his (a) brother, the Hon. Enrico
(1811 † 1887), MP, and (b) cousin Vittorio Amedeo (1809 † 1862), Captain of the
Royal Guard granted the title of Count (27 Apr. 1830) for war merits by HM King
Carlo Felice; Rear-Admiral Ernesto Cordero of the Marquises of Montezemolo (1819
† 1892); HE Vittorio Cordero of the Marquises of Montezemolo (1917 † 1982),
Ambassador of Italy; and Lieutenant Felice Cordero Marquis of Pamparato (1919 †
1944), gold medal of military valour, captured during the war of resistance,
sentenced to death and executed by the Republic of Salň.
17 Corderos of Montezemolo took part in WWI; three fell in battle and another
three were promoted to the rank of general. Many more took part in WWII. Of
note: General Marquis Carlo (1858 † 1943), his son General Marquis Mario (1888 †
1960) and his son Admiral Marquis Giorgio (1918 † 1986); Major General Vittorio
(1862 † 1950), aeronautical pioneer who formed and led the first Italian
Airforce Battalion; his sons (a) General Alberto (1892 † 1974), aide-de-camp to
HRH Prince Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta and of Apulia, and (b) Brigadier
General Cesare (1895 † 1971), aide-de-camp to HM King Victor Emanuel III;
Vice-Admiral Carlo (1904 † 1981), aide-de-camp to HRH Prince Ferdinand of Savoy,
Duke of Genova, and to HRH Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Aosta and of Spoleto;
Colonel Giuseppe Cordero Lanza of the Marquises of Montezemolo (1901 † 1944),
gold medal of military valour, organizer and Commander of the Clandestine
Military Front during the war of liberation of 1943-44, captured, tortured and
brutally murdered; and his brother, Commodore Renato (1903 † 1967), aide-de-camp
to HRH Crown Prince Umberto of Savoy (later HM Umberto II).
Only three family lines have survived into XXI century and continue to this day.
Namely those of (1) the Marquises of Pamparato, Counts of Roburent and Lords of
Roasio; (2) the Marquises of Montezemolo; and (3) the Counts of Vonzo and Lords
of Cocconato. Today, well-known members of the Montezemolo line can be found
amongst the Catholic hierarchy and the management of the Italian industrialists’
Roberto Cordero di Montezemolo, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo,
Commodore Royal Italian Navy, submarine Cdr, K Crown Italy, K Vittorio
Veneto, Honourary Guard Royal Tombs Pantheon, b. Mondově 29 Aug. 1899 †
Agello di Magione 30 Sept. 1983, m. Perugia 1 Oct. 1934 Federica née
Vicarelli, b. Turin 29 May 1910 † Perugia 29 Nov. 2003 (dau. Prof. Giuseppe,
Dean Faculty Medicine Royal University Turin, President Royal Medical
Academy Turin (1923-26), Director and Head Surgeon Institute Obstetrics and
Gynecology Turin, GO Crown Italy, b. Perugia 2 Nov. 1865 † Agello di Magione
5 May 1946, and Carmen of the Marquises Saluzzo, of the Counts of Crissolo,
of the Barons of Fénis and La Riviera, of the Lords of Castellar, Oncino,
Ostana and Paesana, of the once sovereign Marquises of Saluzzo, b. Turin 24
Oct. 1872 † Agello di Magione 6 Oct. 1930), and had issue:
Umberto, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, major Italian Airforce
(reserve), mining engineer, b. Florence 4 Feb. 1936, m. Rome 16 Jan. 1972
Barbara née Giuriati, b. Rome 26 Aug. 1942 (dau. Admiral Ernesto, Chief of
Staff Italian Navy (1962-65), Silver and Bronze Medals Military Valour, 2
War Merit Crosses, GC Merit Italy, K Sts Maurice Lazzarus, KC Crown Italy,
b. 1902 † 1998, and Carlotta née Servadio Cortesi, b. 1903 † 1999), and had
1a) Andrea Federico, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, b. Rome 4 Nov.
1973, m. Milan 28 Sept. 2002 Ruth née La Fisca, b. Milan 13 Nov. 1975;
Benedetta, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, b. Rome 26 Jul. 1975, m.
Milan 24 Jun. 2000 Michele Mattioli, mechanical engineer, b. Fossombrone 20
2) Carmen, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, b. Florence 19 Feb. 1937,
m. Rome 25 Oct. 1965 Michele Kunkl, b. Genoa 2 Nov. 1935;
3) Maura, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, 2nd lieutenant Italian Red
Cross Voluntary Nurses Corps, b. La Spezia 8 Mar. 1938, m. Rome 25 Mar. 1965
Brigadier General Lodovico Nava, K Merit Italy, Bronze Star Sports Merit,
member 1960 Italian Olympic eventing team, chief technical advisor Italian
Federation of Equestrian Sports (FISE), b. Modena 19 Apr. 1929;
4) Roberta, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, b. Trieste 29 Aug. 1941,
m. Vatican City 7 Feb. 1968 HE Gearóid Ó Broin, Ambassador of Ireland, GC
Pius IX, b. Mallow (Ireland) 21 May 1940;
5) Aurelia, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, lieutenant Italian Red
Cross Voluntary Nurses Corps, D Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem, b. Rome 6 May
1948, m. Rome 4 Jun. 1994 Count Cesare Fani*, Head Surgeon San Giovanni
Hospital Rome (retired), Prof. clinical and semeiotic surgery (Uni. Rome La
Sapienza), b. Rome 14 Nov. 1931;
6) Gregorio, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo, 2nd lieutenant
parachutist Italian Army (reserve), b. Rome 25 Dec. 1950.
* See entry for Count Cesare Fani.