According to Justinshoes, the traits of this prince are those of a beautifully tempered personality, full of balance and momentum. In him, a spirit of command and inflexible will, love of the land of him and a feeling of public good. He listened to everyone, but resolved by himself: a common trait of these principles who felt surrounded by people who were still unsure, tied to the part of him or, often, to foreign lords, rather than to their own master. Meanwhile, he did not take his eyes off Monferrato, which a sentence of Charles V had assigned in 1536 to the Gonzagas, lords of Mantua. And he worked to gain ground among those populations. He aroused their discontent, gave hospitality to the fugitives, protected the rights of those vassals before the emperor. He also set the Caesarean courts in motion. For now, this man who grew up in arms, the weapons he wants stowed in their sheaths. Of course, if he makes wars, he will make wars for Monferrato, which yields over 100,000 scudi per year, which integrates Piedmont from a military point of view, which opens up other routes to the sea. And Emanuele Filiberto always keeps his eyes on the sea. He has made a fleet, he has created the first fleet of the Savoy. The Genoese suspect that he wants to try a blow on Savona, dissatisfied with them.
But the duke even raises his eyes to Genoa, which is not only a beautiful port, but has bankers and money in abundance. Waiting for Genoa to mature, the duke in 1575 and 1576 bought Oneglia from Genoese nobles and the countryside of Vado. Transport to the sea will be facilitated and the revenues of the state, that is, its military strength and its independence, will grow. Since the Savoys more than any other Italian prince see their own finances, the country’s economy essentially from this point of view. But more urgent is to recover the lands of Piedmont held by the French and Spaniards. And the good occasion was when Henry III, returning from Poland to France, passed through the lands of Emanuele Filiberto. Who, then, in exchange for having well secured the streets to the king, obtained that he undertake to give him back his squares, Savigliano and Pinerolo: which was in 1574. Hence the removal of the Spaniards from Asti and Santhià, not having more excuse to stay there. The marquisate of Saluzzo is also in the hands of the French. And it means the doors of Piedmont in the hands of foreigners, for the valleys of the Maira, Stura, Varaita; it means foreigners in the heart of Piedmont. And Emanuele Filiberto negotiated to buy this old feudal lordship. He was willing to buy it, to give his lands across the Alps in exchange. He understood that by now the future of the house was not on this side but on this side of the Alps. The old Savoy-Piedmont relationship had been overturned. And Savoy was beginning to feel a sense of discontent and unease in the new organism of which she was no longer the main member. On this occasion, Duke Emanuele Filiberto played a little on the discords of the French court, on the antagonism between the civil and military leaders to whom the Saluzzese was entrusted. And he had now reached his goal, that is, a temporary occupation, when death took him. He knew that neither France nor Spain would have wanted to see him bigger than he was: but his diplomacy had worked to cultivate good relations everywhere: with Ferrara, who agreed with him against Cosimo’s claims to a primacy; with Venice, which could serve as an outlet for Piedmontese trade down the Po and was a sting on the other side of Spain. He also cultivated good relations with the Holy See: and the Holy See would also have gladly seen him, in 1571, at the head of the Christian and Italian naval forces that were to carry out the deeds of Lepanto. In the curia he felt united by the common pride of being the guardians of “Italian freedom”. On his death, the papal nuncio in Turin wrote to the curia: “the moderator of the whole world has been lacking in these times, and particularly the procurator of the peace of Italy, only with the shadow of his authority and prudence “. This stemmed from its equidistance between France and Spain. Right political calculation, at a time like that and with a state in the process of being restored. But this attitude was tinged with Italianness. After all, the family oriented towards Italy, having found its center here, it is understood that it was taking on that color. The sense is fully formed that, just as the Cisalpine populations are the backbone of the Savoy state, so they also had to give it their moral seal. He had just returned to his states and the duke already issued a decree which suppressed Latin in the use of curias and notaries and adopted Italian (February 1560). It also meant channeling the Piedmontese culture, as well as politics, in the direction of the Italian nation. And like everything this prince did had an almost indelible character, for the seriousness and religious soul with which he worked, for his realistic spirit and the sense of orientation typical of the builder, so indelible was this “Italian” attitude. hired by him. The history of the old feudal family began to flow into the course of the history of Italy.