Emilio rose to power through support from his powerful family, the Barbarigo. He then cornered the market by edging out his competition and managing to lobby the government. With this, he funded the entire Venetian police force, which kept his finances tax-free and the streets safe from crime, while also eliminating any opposition or competition.
Meeting in Tuscany
In 1480, Emilio attended a meeting within an outdoor Roman theater in Tuscany, organized and conducted by Templar Grand Master Rodrigo Borgia. The gathering was meant for the Pazzi conspirators, but the only one who managed to arrive was Jacopo de' Pazzi.
Through his investigations in San Gimignano, the Assassin Ezio Auditore learned of this meeting, and tailed Jacopo to the theater. Once Ezio had reached it, he hid near a large column at the back of the theater and eavesdropped on the three Templars.
During the meeting, Jacopo spoke about his failure in the plot to kill the Medici in Florence with Rodrigo and Emilio, though he soon attempted to blame Emilio, claiming that he did not supply them with quality weapons.
However, Rodrigo soon intervened, shouting at Jacopo, and eventually stabbing him with a stiletto dagger. Jacopo then pleaded to be spared, before Emilio shoved him to the ground, laughing sadistically.
With Jacopo injured on the stage floor, Rodrigo brandished his blade and thrust it through Jacopo's neck. Cleaning off his bloodied blade, Rodrigo called out to Ezio, stating that he was aware of the Assassin's presence from the start, before he had his guards seize the Assassin. Following this, Rodrigo told them to kill Ezio, before both he and Emilio departed from the theater. However, Ezio broke away from the guards' restraints, but he was too late to pursue Emilio and Rodrigo.
Merchant of Venice
By 1481 in Venice, Emilio had taken control of San Polo, the mercantile district, and was ruling it with an iron fist. He charged the merchants rent, and even had his guards destroy their stand if it was not paid promptly. As well as this, Emilio also ordered his guards to patrol there often, to ensure the district remained under his control.
It was Emilio's responsibility to provide weapons to the other Templars in Florence, and he was able to maintain a large role in Templar affairs. He resided in a large palace within San Polo, called the Palazzo della Seta, which was heavily guarded with a large iron fence, vigilant archers, and fierce brutes.
His oppression over the district attracted the attention of the Venetian Thieves' Guild, which was based in the same district, who, led by Antonio de Magianis, then allied themselves with Ezio when he arrived in the city. Together, they began to work to end Emilio's tyranny, beginning with the thieves freeing their captured men, killing those who were traitorous and had been bribed by Emilio, as well as acquiring the armor of Emilio's archers.
Eventually, on 11 September 1485, four years after starting their preparations, the thieves believed it was time to strike. Ezio made his way onto the rooftops of the Palazzo, where he began to observe his target.
- Carlo: "Your little house of cards is crumbling, Emilio."
- Emilio: "A minor setback. It will be dealt with. This povero scemo Antonio and his thieves..."
- Carlo: "Never mind them! It's the Assassin you should be worried about!"
- —Emilio and Carlo discuss the Assassin presence in Venice.[src]
Spying on the meeting, Ezio noticed Emilio meeting with fellow Templar and member of the Council of Ten, Carlo Grimaldi. During their discussion, Carlo informed Emilio that Ezio was targeting him, and that he should stay vigilant of the Assassin. He also told Emilio of a meeting that was to take place three days from then at the Santo Stefano, which had been organized by Rodrigo. Before leaving, Carlo advised Emilio to leave Seta and reside somewhere less conspicuous.
After his meeting with Carlo, Emilio ordered one of his men to fetch his boat and to begin loading it when it had arrived. While waiting for his boat, Ezio managed to make his way into the courtyard and assassinated Emilio with his Hidden Blade. During his final moments, Emilio claimed that he had sought unity, stability, and order, but that this progress demanded sacrifice.
Personality and characteristics
- Guard: "You were told to stay home!"
- Merchant: "But the rent is paid! I have every right to sell here!"
- Guard: "Emilio disagrees!"
- —A guard destroys a merchant's stand by order of Emilio.[src]
Emilio was an oppressive and demanding man, making sure the merchants in San Polo paid him rent, though when they did not, he had their stands destroyed. He also was a man who took pride in his accomplishments and success, claiming he had worked too hard to be defeated by Ezio and the Assassins.
Emilio was rather critical and argumentative with his fellow Templars, often blaming them, rather than himself, whenever plans failed. He called Jacopo de' Pazzi a coward at their Tuscan meeting and blamed him for their failure in Florence, though Jacopo had only a minor role in the conspiracy. He also argued with fellow Templar Carlo Grimaldi, even when Carlo was attempting to warn him.
In terms of attire, Emilio dressed as a member of Venetian nobility, wearing a large set of bluish-green and yellow robes that extended from his neck to his ankles. He also wore an orante hat on his head, symbolizing his wealth, as well as a thin dark cape which matched his robes and draped to the back his knees.
- Emilio's portrait in the Villa Auditore said that he died in 1484, when in fact he died in 1485.
- The same portrait of him could be seen in Assassin's Creed: Embers, in Ezio's study.
- In Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, Emilio's corpse is dumped in the canal by Ezio after killing him and is only found two weeks later because, according to Marco Barbarigo, it had swollen up to twice its natural size.
- In the non-canonical mobile adaptation of Assassin's Creed II, Emilio Barbarigo is killed not in 1485 but 1486, and he is responsible for orders given to Francesco de' Pazzi to kidnap Lorenzo de' Medici. After saving Lorenzo and assassinating Francesco, Ezio Auditore proceeds to Venice, where he ambushes Emilio from a bush as he exits a church, slashing his throat open with a spear. Emilio's appearance also differs, as he is garbed in a hooded purple robe.