Visconti is the name of one of the great families of Italy that ruled Milan and Lombardy for a long time; they claimed descent from Desiderius, the last king of the Longobards. In the 11th century, the Visconti owned lands on Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. In 1277 and again in 1281, the Ghibellines defeated the Guelfs controlling Milan, the della Torre family (who returned again in 1302-11), and now ruled as podestà and signori. From 1395 they ruled Milan and Lombardy as dukes. In 1447 the last Visconti of the ruling line died. After his death, the Duchy of Milan fell to his son-in-law from the Sforza family, from which the Dukes emerged from then until 1535.