Pietro Riario

Pietro Riario (1445 - January 3 1474), was an Italian cardinal and Papal diplomat.


Born in Savona, he was the son of Paolo Riario and Pope Sixtus IVs' sister, Bianca Della Rovere. Sixtus nominated him in 1471 a bishop of Treviso and cardinal, and, in 1473, archbishop of Florence. He was entrusted of Sixtus' foreign policy. To reinforce the alliance between Rome and Milan, he had his brother Girolamo married to the daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.

He was a humanist known for his patronage of literature and the arts, as well as for his huge feasts and his luxurious behaviour. He had a large palace begun in Rome, near the church of Santi Apostoli (it was completed by his cousin Giuliano della Rovere, pope as Julius II).

In 1473 he travelled to northern Italy to set the cession of Imola from Milan to the Republic of Florence. At his return in Rome, Riario died suddenly in his house. It was suspected that he had been poisoned, although an indigestion was more likely. He was buried in Santi Apostoli in a magnificent Renaissance tomb scultped by Mino da Fiesole and Andrea Bregno. His role as Sixtus' collaborator was inherited by his cousin Giuliano della Rovere.

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