This various reforming and warlike activity of the Church finds its synthetic expression in the new life of the papacy, at the end of the 16th century, once again grasping many of those command levers that it had lost, religious and also political; also returned to rise in front of the Italians. He defends himself well, on the whole, from the Spanish invasion, although the Catholic king Philip II works a lot in Rome, he who carries out a world politics and owns states in Italy, especially the Kingdom, vassal of the Holy See, therefore vulnerable by the S. Sede, now as for centuries. The Venetian ambassador notes that the cardinals are no longer divided according to France and Spain, but according to the great families that divide the seats of cardinals and compete for the papacy. They too, or many of them, care that creatures of Spain do not rise to the papacy. “Italy would fall prey to barbarians, which would be a shame”, said Cardinal Morosini in the conclave of 1590.
The man who energetically represented on the papal throne the papacy of the Counter-Reformation with his lively aspiration to independence from every political power and from every hegemonic state in Italy and in Europe, with his desire for absolutism within the Church in front of bishops and cardinals, with his longing for greatness, it was Sixtus V, who carried out a ferocious justice in the state to eradicate rampant crime, built a good corps of militias and a flotilla of galleys also capable of facing the Barbaries, accumulated money as a means of politics independent, he collected in his hands the treatment of all general and government questions, he was intolerant of any link that bound the cardinals with the outside world. At the same time, battle against the bad customs of the clergy, more intimate connection with the bishops, more intense activity of the college of cardinals through the creation of fifteen congregations for a more profitable division of labor and better use of skills, a policy aimed at reconciling French Catholics and uniting them around the king, a king, an impulse given to the work of missionaries in farthest countries. Among them, large numbers of Italians, Franciscans or Jesuits; and some, real intermediaries between that world and Italian, indeed destined to occupy a conspicuous place in the history of those countries. Franciscans or Jesuits; and some, real intermediaries between that world and Italian, indeed destined to occupy a conspicuous place in the history of those countries. Franciscans or Jesuits; and some, real intermediaries between that world and Italian, indeed destined to occupy a conspicuous place in the history of those countries.
According to COUNTRYVV, Sixtus V also had a great ambition to enlarge and embellish Rome. The building effort of the popes was, after Julius II, slowed down. Sixtus V took it back. And he destroyed baths, temples, theaters, and used marbles, columns, capitals, for the new papal Rome. Bridges, churches, fountains, obelisks on the vast squares, colossal aqueducts were built, marking the Campagna with arches converging towards the city. The factory of San Pietro, pushed forward and now completed, represented a century of Italian construction art, from Bramante to Bernini, and the papacy of the Counter-Reformation which communicated its renewed spirit to the work. Architecturally speaking, Rome is already beginning to take on the physiognomy that it has then preserved, as do Naples, Palermo, other Italian cities. The Baroque rose, the Italian style of the 17th century, which found such great application. With the pope all those families of the Roman aristocracy who lived around the papacy and the papacy work to beautify Rome, competing for the profitable civil and ecclesiastical dignities of Rome and the state, the bishops, the abbeys, the commendas, the priories, all the rich benefits of Italy and a little of the Catholic world, the cardinal hats and the papal chair, but also competing in the pomp, in the construction of large palaces and enchanting gardens and sumptuous villas in the surroundings. Instead of the Orsini, the Colonna, the Savelli, the Frangipane, the Caetani, of feudal and medieval memory, the Farnese, the Barberini, the Aldobrandini, the Vitelleschi, the Pamfili, the Borghese, the Chigi, the Boncompagni, etc., many of which of bourgeois and mercantile origin, which from their predecessors have collected, as well as the position around the papacy, also a large part of the real estate wealth, and now they are loaded with offices, dignity, gifts, revenues, right up to the head. Alongside them, in their clientele, with their favor, another minor aristocracy is formed, originally from Rome or an immigrant, by virtue of the particular nepotisms that are beginning to flourish, in the shadow of the great nepotism of the popes. Great migratory current towards Rome, in the century. XVI, for which the ancient nucleus of the local population was almost overwhelmed. In large majority, made up of Italians. The influx began in the 15th century. It then grew: with Leo X and Clement VII and successors, Rome was filled with Florentines; Paul IV called Neapolitans there who occupied many jobs; with Pius IV, of the Medici of Marignano, Milanese in large numbers with almost all the offices in hand; the fall of Siena, in ’55, he drove there dozens of Sienese families; then, many Genoese, bankers or business people. Rome is the major money market now. Keep in mind that Italians were withdrawing their capital scattered throughout Europe in the 1500s: and Rome was one of the safest places to invest. But people of every condition and profession go to Rome. There is room for everyone. Not always and in everything, even during the Counter-Reformation, much spiritual edification. However, poor Italy, says Soranzo, is relieved. Rome gives and lives itself: since the city has no resources of its own.