Scala, Can Francesco della

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Can Francesco della Scala (kän fränchās´kō dĕl´lä skä´lä) or Can Grande della Scala (käng grän´dā), 1291–1329, lord of Verona, the greatest member of the pro-imperial, or Ghibelline, family that ruled Verona from 1277 to 1387 (see Guelphs and Ghibellines). Can Grande was made imperial vicar by Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII and participated in the struggles against the Guelphs, the papal party, extending his territories to include Vicenza, Padua, Feltre, Belluno, and Treviso. His was one of the important states of N Italy. A typical Italian tyrant, he was also a great patron of the arts and letters and a protector of Dante, who mentioned him in the Paradiso. The tombs of the Della Scala (or Scaligeri) family are among the landmarks of Verona.