Main Cast : Rutger Hauer - Federico Barbarossa
F. Murray Abraham - Siniscalco Barozzi
Antonio Cupo - Milano Consul
Christo Jivkov - Milano Consul
Raz Degan - Alberto Da Giussano
Zoltan Butuc - Otto da Giussano
Dicu Aurel - German officer with scar
Marius Chivu - Guidone
Robert Baer - Alberto Kid
Kasia Smutniak - Eleonora
Screenplay: Anna Samueli and Giorgio Schottler
Plot: Frederick I was one of the most famous of German Emperors. He was a tall, stalwart man of majestic appearance. He had a long red beard and so the people called him Barbarossa, or 'Red Beard'. He came to the throne in 1152. At that time the province of Lombardy in northern Italy was a part of the German Empire.
In 1158 Milan, the chief city of Lombardy, revolted. Then over the Alps came an army of a hundred thousand German soldiers, with Frederick at their head. After a long siege the city surrendered. But soon it revolted again. The Emperor besieged it once more and once more it surrendered. Its fortifications were destroyed and many of its buildings ruined.
But even then the spirit of the Lombards was not broken. Milan and the other cities of Lombardy united in a league called 'Lega Lombarda'. Alberto da Giussano was the legendary Guelph warrior who formed the "Company of Death" that defended the 'Carroccio' of the League at the Battle of Legnano. In his last campaign against the Lombards Frederick was unsuccessful. His army was completely defeated and he was compelled to grant freedom to the cities of Lombardy.
The 'Carroccio' was a war chariot drawn by oxen, used by the medieval republics of Italy. It was a rectangular platform on which the standard of the city and an altar were erected; priests held services on the altar before the battle, and the trumpeters beside them encouraged the fighters to the fray. In battle the Carroccio was surrounded by the bravest warriors in the army and it served both as a rallying-point and as the palladium of the city's honour; its capture by the enemy was regarded as an irretrievable defeat and humiliation.