In the late 8th century the youngest son of Sholto Duglas of Scotland journeyed to Piacenza in what is now Italy. A soldier of fortune, he set out to follow Emperor Charlemagne on his conquests of present day Europe.
Once a simple soldier in search of adventure, Guillelmo de Duglas matured into a great leader of men. His prowess as a brave warrior and loyal lieutenant earned him many promotions. He was credited as 'Liberator of Florence' where the city still celebrates his heroic efforts; the lion that emblazoned his tunic taken as the symbol of that historic event.
While in service to his emperor, Duglas fell ill during a major campaign and was taken to nearby Piacenza to recover. Here he met and married the only daughter of a prominent local baron Antonio Spettino.
Guillelmo de Duglas resided in Italy for the remainder of his sixty years, fathering many children with his bride. Their numerous descendants are among the Italian nobility today and are known as the Douglas Scotti and Scotti Douglas, many still residing on Duglas lands and living in the family’s surviving fortresses.
A portrait of Marco Antonio Douglas Scotti; used with permission of the family of the late and sadly missed Princess Luisa Anguissola Scotti; taken at Castello e Rocca di Agazzano a former Douglas Scotti stronghold in northern Italy.
The recently restored ruins of the former fortress at Agazzano
The medieval stronghold of Fombio near Piacenza, another Scotti Douglas castle
Photo image of the letter written by Marco Antonio Douglas Scotti in 1622 to his Douglas cousins in Scotland; by permission of the Earl of Home from the Douglas Estates records
Bastardino castle was a former Douglas Scotti stronghold and is a private club in the ducato of Piacenza today
The Armorial Bearings of the Douglas Scotti as seen in the restored foyer at Fombio complete with the Scottish buckle and the Motto NEVER RETREAT, NUNQUAM RETRORSUM...click on the image to access the article on the castles of the Douglas Scotti, first plublished by the Scottish Castles Association
The ancient walled village and medieval fortress of the 'Lord of Douglas'. using the description from a 14th century document of the Ducato of Piacenza
The ancient armorial bearings of the Douglas Scotti, two gold stars astride a bend appear over the front gates of the family palace at Piacenza that is now occupied by the city's police department