We see how, after sorting out Milan, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa also goes on to try and deal with pope Alexander III. Meanwhile, the communes start to learn that there can be strength in numbers, with the League of Verona in 1164 and the Lombard and Italic Leagues in 1167.
After the diet of Roncaglia, we follow Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa as he tries to deal with a papal schism between Victor IV and Alexander III and then goes on to deal with the communes, particularly the ever obstinate Milan.
We see an attempt by Eastern Roman Emperor Manuel Komnenus to bring at least part of Italy back into the empire, a peace between pope Hadrian IV and the Norman king William I. Then, of course there is the continuing struggle between Frederick Barbarossa and the northern communes headed by Milan.
Hadrian IV, with the help of Frederick Barbarossa, tries to come to terms with the Roman commune and its moral leader, Arnaldo da Brescia, but the results are not quite as they expected
The communes start to feel they need some admin changes. We go from pope Eugene III through an Anastasius for a bit to the major hitter Hadrian IV. All the while Frederick Barbarossa starts to come into play