Florence searches desperately to find support to resit the seemingly unstoppable expansion of the newly formed Duchy of Milan. Will they manage? Or will Gian Galeazzo Visconti complete his vision of including Florence in his dominions.
We take a very quick look back at the region of Tuscany and bring it up to 1302 when we last visited in the time of Dante to see how Florence gradually became the predominant force in the area. We see how things went with the Guelphs and Ghibellines inside and outside the region with all the “international” players while all the while the corporations make their way into the halls of power.
After spending so much time gallivanting around town in the kingdom of Naples and the Papal states, it’s time to head back up north to Milan to see what’s going on. We get there in time to see the passing of Azzone visconti and the new role of Archbishop Giovanni and his brother Luchino, under whom the remains of communal Milan are definitively eliminated and the dynastic Signoria of the Visconti is consolidated, ready to become a great Duchy.
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We see how Mastino Della Scala of Verona continues with his father Cangrande’s expansionist policy taking over neighbouring cities in northern Italy. This starts to get on the nerves of some of the bigger players, such as Florence, Venice and Milan who end up forming a coalition against the Della Scala. The coalition wins out and in the aftermath, although the Della Scala are not completely done for, their hopes for expansion are and Milan Florence and Venice can get to consolidating their external and internal situations.
While everyone (the Pope, the king of France, Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence etc.) is manoeuvring in northern Italy along comes an unexpected king, John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia. Will he be able to unite the northern cities?