The fief of Cisterna, depending from the diocese of Asti, came under papal suzerainty in 1476, when it was seized by Sixtus IV, who granted it to his nephew Antonio Della Rovere. In 1559 it was purchased by the Torti family, and in 1567 by the Acerbi, a Milanese family serving the Spanish Crown. In 1651 these latter sold the Marquisate of Cisterna to the Dal Pozzo, a Biellese family among the most prominent ones of the Savoyard states. In 1670 Pope Clement XII raised Cisterna to the rank of a Principality placed under the immediate authority of the Holy See. Between the 17th and 18th centuries the Dal Pozzo had to face the policy of Victor Amadeus II and Charles Emmanuel III, who succesfully managed to establish Savoyard sovereignty over papal fiefs. This article has a specific focus on the multiple loyalties towards several rulers that the fief-holders had to show.
Keywords: Cisterna d’Asti; Acerbi; Dal Pozzo; papal fiefs; multiple loyalties; Savoyard states