The Ubaldini are mentioned both in Hell and in Purgatory; one of them, the Archbishop Ruggieri, is the protagonist of one of the most famous verses, together with Count Ugolino della Gherardesca:
“His mouth lifted now from that horrible dish,
the sinner wiped clean each lip on hair that covered
the mess he’d left his head in
[….] You need to know: I was Count Ugolino.
This one is Ruggieri, the archbishop.
Now I’ll tell you why we two are so close.”
(Inf. XXXIII, 1-3, 13-15)
The powerful Cardinal Ottaviano, buried in the parish church of Fagna near Scarperia, was a Ghibelline and an unscrupulous man who was condemned for eternity among the Epicureans, together with the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia:
“He answered, ‘I lie with a thousand more.
Within here is the second Frederick.
Cardinal Octavian, too. Of the rest, I keep silent.”
(Inf. X, 118-120)
In the 14th Canto of Purgatory, lighter penalties are given to Ugolino di Azzo, identifiable with Ugolino son of Azzo from Montaccianico or Ugolino from Senni, who married Beatrice of Galvano Lancia and died in 1293.
“Don’t be astonished, Tuscan, if you see me weep
when I remember, with Guido da Prata,
Ugolin d’Azzo who once lived with us”
( Purg. XIV, 103-105)
In the same canto, Ubaldino della Pila makes an appearance. The head of the coterie was the elder brother of Cardinal Ottaviano and the father of Archbishop Ruggieri, who was known for his gluttony:
“I saw there, for hunger bite on empty air,
Ubaldin dalla Pila and Boniface
who pastured many with his castled crook.”
(Purg. XXIV, 28-30)
Ubaldino della Pila, the influential Ghibelline leader, was Podestà of Borgo San Lorenzo (1238, 1239, 1281). After the battle of Montaperti in 1260, he was among those who, at Empoli, proposed to destroy Florence. In the summer of 1273, he hosted Pope Gregory X along with his court at the castle of Montaccianico for some months. The Archaeological Museum of Sant'Agata houses a papal seal found during excavations, and a reconstruction model of the castle itself, where Dante was likely a guest.