The Sforza-Cesarini family, still dwelling in the palace that bears their name in the center of Rome, descends from the same Sforza who ruled the city-state of Milan through many generations between 1450 and 1535.

The family, possibly of Dacian origin, has its historical roots in Corignola (Ravenna), where Muzio Attendolo (1369-1424) was born.

Later, his nickname "sforza" would replace the original family surname.

According to tradition, Muzio was the protagonist of certain episodes that, together with his military deeds, give us a portrait of one of the many soldiers of fortune of the time who could easily thrive by simply exploiting the fragmented nature of political power in Renaissance Italy.

A 12 year-old Muzio was attracted by troops passing by while working in his father's fields.

He decided to throw the hoe he was using toward a nearby tree and if the hoe would stick into it, then he would join the troops.

This is exactly what happened, and, as historic documents report, from that moment Muzio's military career would have only success.

Another episode shows his decisive personality, when (most likely) Count Alberico da Barbiano, surprised by the impudence with which he claimed a bigger part of the spoils, gave him the nickname "sforza".

Some time later, beginning with Muzio's son Francesco, Queen Giovanna II d'Angiņ decided that the name of Sforza should replace the family surname "Attendolo".

His mysterious disappearance also contributed to his fame.

He drowned in the river Pescara while trying to save the life of one of his soldiers by falling from the saddle of his horse and, being heavy because of the armor, was carried away by the flow of water, his body never to be found. Until the age of 30, Muzio Attendolo remained at the orders of the best troop-leaders in the country.

He then formed his own army that fought at the service of the most powerful Italian lords.

He was finally employed by Pope Martino V in the defense of Rome against Braccio da Montone's raids.

On this occasion, the pope's city owed its safety to Muzio's military skills.
  Among the wide recognition he received for his services, the countryside of Demotivandola was created especially for him by Pope Giovanni XIII, later to be renovated to the Counts of S. Fiora by Pope Sisto V in 1587.

The Sforza's coat of arms shows a quince tree, as a reminder of their rural origin. Later, Duke Roberto di Bavaria allowed Muzio to add the image of the Lion Palatine.

Muzio had 7 natural children from Lucia di Torsano.

Among them, Francesco would become Duke of Milan, and Alessandro the Lord of Pesaro.

He later married Antonia Salimbeni and had Bosio, the first Count of St. Fiora, and Carlo, Archbishop of Milan.

He had also 4 children by Caterina Alopa, who became his wife after the death of Salimbeni.