Visconti Italian family that ruled Milan from the 13th century until 1447. Ottone Visconti (c.1207–95) was appointed Archbishop of Milan in 1262, and used his position to become the first Visconti Signore (It. ‘Lord’) of Milan. Supporters of the anti-papal Ghibellines, the Visconti established control over Lombardy in the 14th century, and in 1349 the title of Signore became hereditary. Visconti lordship of Milan passed to the Sforza family in 1447.
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