124 – Troubled Tuscan times and Boccaccio’s Decameron

After following Florence and Tuscany through a mini golden age from the 1280’s to the 1330’s we see things really start to go downhill with social tensions between the Arti Maggiori, the greater guilds, and the arti minori, the lesser guilds, exacerbated also by the very brief dominion over Florence by Walter of Brienne.

We then take a brief look at the life of Giovani bocaccio and see the plague through his eyes with his great work the Decameron.

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.