Parte Guelfa is a knighthood and brotherhood dedicated to environmental preservation since 1549 AD thanks to the assignment given by Cosimo I de’ Medici, Granduchy of Tuscany. Parte Guelfa was established in 1266 AD by Knights of Florence to set Florence and Italy free from empire of Hohenstaufen family and received the approval as Order by the French Pope Clement IV who was the main European authority in the middle age confirming the privileges of kingdoms and institutions. Parte Guelfa never depended on the Church of Rome and has always been independent keeping since the very beginning its complete decisional autonomy in admitting new members and making its rules and policy.
Until XXI century, for over seven centuries, the Knights and Dames have always been Italian and obviously they were normally Christian Catholic. Now Parte Guelfa is an universal institution where are represented almost 50 nationalities of all religious beliefs. We have Jewish, Christians (German Protestants, Swedish Protestants, Waldensian, Adventist, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Rumanian Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian, Melchitic, Maronite, Baptist, Anglican), Muslim (Sunni and Shia), Druze, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Lakota, and also atheists.
Parte Guelfa never took part to any crusade or any religious war or persecution. All the battles in the XIII, XIV and XV centuries fought by the Knights of Parte Guelfa had the objective to obtain or preserve the political and economic independence for Florence and its territories sometimes allying with the Holy See and other times with France or other kingdoms according to the historical contingency. These facts are also very well described by Dante Alighieri, the most important Italian poet, who was also a Knight of Parte Guelfa.
Since 2015 Parte Guelfa, confirming its full independence from Church and also from Italian Kingdom or Republic or any other state, changed its constitution act and started to admit non-Italian members belonging to all nations, ethnic, culture or religion. Everybody with a selected dignity profile who wants to take care of the environment is welcome and admitted in Parte Guelfa if able to have open heart and mind and to show brothery feelings to all other members.
Parte Guelfa uses no religious symbols except three times a year in Italy for the traditional ceremonies of Christmas, Easter and Corpus Domini when a cross is fixed on the flag. Of course it is not mandatory for member to take part but we maintain the traditional presence. Our symbols are the red Eagle and the green Dragon and we use only those in all official and unofficial events. We will not have any problems to use other symbols to honor other civil or religious authorities in other countries. The Solemn Investitures are traditionally held in Florence and we use our home, the ancient Palagio di Parte Guelfa sited in Piazza di Parte Guelfa 1 in the historical center of the city. The day before we celebrate, according to the nationality of the members and not to their religions, the Vigil ceremony in a big venue, normally a basilica, that needs to be large enough to accommodate at least five hundred people. The most important Basilicas in Italy and in Florence belong to the State and are often classified as museums; they are national monuments and they are the only places in Florence able to hold such audience also according to the restrictions due to anti Covid laws.
Parte Guelfa respects all traditions in a totally neutral way and will always keep this line to honor and include all identities and differences considering them as its main treasure. Parte Guelfa is a universal institution, a community of brothers and sisters active to save Mother Earth, our common home, as we are all responsible to preserve it for the future generations; as we all share the same biology, we all breath the same air and we all drink the same water.