Beatrice Regina della Scala

Beatrice Regina della Scala (1331 – 18 June 1384) was Lady of Milan by marriage to Bernabò Visconti, Lord of Milan, and politically active as the adviser of her spouse.[1]

Beatrice Regina della Scala
Beatrice Regina della Scala and her husband Bernabò Visconti, painted c. 1350 by an unknown artist
Verona, Italy
Died18 June 1384(1384-06-18) (aged 52–53)
Milan, Italy
Noble familydella Scala
FatherMastino II della Scala
MotherTaddea da Carrara


Beatrice Regina was born in Verona in 1331,[2] the youngest child and only daughter of Mastino II della Scala and Taddea da Carrara. She had three older brothers, and five illegitimate half-siblings. Her father, who was a member of the Scaliger family of Northern Italy, was Lord of Verona, Vicenza, Brescia, Parma, and Lucca.[2] Her paternal grandparents were Alboino I della Scala and Beatrice, daughter of Gilberto III da Correggio of Parma, and her maternal grandparents were Jacopo I da Carrara and Anna Gradenigo, daughter of Pietro Gradenigo, Doge of Venice and Tommasina Morosini.

Lady of Milan

On 27 September 1350 in Verona, Beatrice Regina was married to Bernabò Visconti, son of Stefano Visconti and Valentina Doria. She was nineteen years of age and he was twenty-seven. The marriage welded a powerful political alliance between Milan and Verona. He assumed power as Lord of Milan in 1354, henceforth, Beatrice Regina was styled as Lady of Milan.

It has been claimed that Bernabò was a cruel and ruthless despot, and an implacable enemy of the Church. He seized the papal city of Bologna, rejected the Pope and his authority, confiscated ecclesiastical property, and forbade any of his subjects to have any dealings with the Curia. He was excommunicated as a heretic in 1363 by Pope Urban V, who preached crusade against him.[3] When Bernabò was in one of his frequent rages, only Beatrice Regina was able to approach him.[4] She reportedly had a strong will, and her influence upon Bernabò - and thereby upon the policy of Milan - was recognized: Catherine of Siena used her as an intermediary every time she had a political request to Bernabò.[1]

Beatrice Regina died on 18 June 1384 at the age of fifty-three years. She was buried in Milan. A year and a half later, her husband was deposed and later poisoned by his nephew and son-in-law Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who in 1395 became the first Duke of Milan.


She gave her name to the church of Santa Maria alla Scala in Milan, and by extension, the La Scala opera house (Teatro alla Scala) which was built on the same site four hundred years later.


Together Bernabò and Beatrice Regina had seventeen children:[4]

  1. Taddea Visconti, Duchess of Bavaria (1351–28 September 1381), married on 13 October 1364 Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria, by whom she had three children including Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen consort of King Charles VI of France
  2. Viridis Visconti (1352–1414), married Leopold III, Duke of Inner Austria, by whom she had six children.
  3. Marco Visconti (November 1353–1382), married Elisabeth of Bavaria
  4. Rodolfo Visconti, Lord of Parma (1358–1388)
  5. Ludovico Visconti (1358–7 March 1404), married Violante Visconti, widow of Lionel of Antwerp. They had a son, Giovanni, who left descendants.
  6. Carlo Visconti (September 1359–August 1403), married Beatrice of Armagnac, daughter of John II, Count of Armagnac and Jeanne de Périgord, by whom he had four children.
  7. Valentina Visconti (1360–1393), married firstly in 1378, King Peter II of Cyprus, by whom she had one daughter who died in early infancy; she married secondly, Galeazzo, Count of Virtù
  8. Caterina Visconti, Duchess of Milan (1361–17 October 1404), married on 2 October 1380 as his second wife, Gian Galeazzo Visconti 1st Duke of Milan, by whom she had two sons, Gian Maria Visconti, 2nd Duke of Milan; and Filippo Maria Visconti, 3rd Duke of Milan, who fathered Bianca Maria Visconti by his mistress Agnese del Maino.
  9. Agnese Visconti (1362–1391), married in 1380 Francesco I Gonzaga, by whom she had one daughter. Agnes was executed for alleged adultery.
  10. Antonia Visconti (died 26 March 1405), married Eberhard III, Count of Wurttemberg, by whom she had three sons.
  11. Mastino Visconti (died 1404), married Antonia della Scala (died 1400), daughter of Cangrande II.
  12. Maddalena Visconti (1366- 17 July 1404), married Frederick, Duke of Bavaria, by whom she had five children including Henry XVI of Bavaria
  13. Aymonette Visconti, married Louis I de Berton des Balbes
  14. Anglesia Visconti (died 12 October 1439), in January 1400 married King Janus of Cyprus, but the marriage was childless and was dissolved 1407/1409; he married in 1411 as his second wife, Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche by whom he had six children.
  15. Giammastino Visconti (1370- 19 June 1405), married Cleofa della Scala (died 1403), by whom he had three children. She was the daughter of Cangrande II.
  16. Lucia Visconti (1372- 14 April 1424), married Edmund Holland, 4th Earl of Kent, the marriage was childless.
  17. Elisabetta Visconti (1374- 2 February 1432), married on 26 January 1395 Ernest, Duke of Bavaria, by whom she had five children including Albert III, Duke of Bavaria.



  1. Tuchman, p.333
  2. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Lords of Milan
  3. Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, p.263
  4. Tuchman, p.254
  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Lords of Milan
  • Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York, 1978
Preceded by
Bianca of Savoy
Lady of Milan
Succeeded by
Caterina Visconti
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