110 – Cola fizzes and goes flat (1347 – 1354)

After seeing the rise of Nicola di Rienzo Gabrini to become ruler of Rome in the name of the pope, we see how power goes to his head, turning him into a despot who would found a new Roman Empire. He is driven out of the city, but is then sent back 5 years later to attempt to save the city again, this time with rather dire consequences for him.

109 – Popeless Rome and the rise of Cola (not the drink)

We take a look at what was happening in Rome while the popes were off in Avignon. We quickly see how Clement V dealt with the movement of Fra Dolcino (spoiler: violently) and then how John XXII and his successor, Gregory XII did. We then introduce Clement VI just in time for him to receive a delegation from Rome headed by a charistmatic, handsome young notary called Cola di Rienzo who, with the support of papal authority, got back to Rome and managed to put himself in the driver’s seat quite quickly, even overcoming the resistance of the Roman noble families… for now.