It’s about time we stop ignoring poor old Genoa up in the top left-hand corner of the country and bring her up-to-date. We take a really quick race from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Genoa in the 14th century: it’s battles against Saracens, Pisans and Venitians as it fights to assert itself as a powerful maritime republic.
We go back to one of our favorite destinations: Venice, which we last left at the start of the 13th century to bring the maritime republic up to the 14th. We see some crazy laws as the republic move more and more to an oligarchy and has bit of trouble as the 14th starts up, especially with the pope.
The sketches are also back in this episode.
We go back over around 50 years from the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II to beyond 1300 to retrace the steps of the kingdom of Sicily, the war of the Sicilian Vespers, the northern communes and maritime republics as well as looking over at Sardinia and keeping an eye as always on the papacy.
In this first episode on the 13th century explorer Marco Polo we look at some background on Venice at his time and his family as well as introducing the figure of the Great Khan Kublai.
We take a look at what happened to the sons of Frederick II, Conrad, Henry and Manfredi. In the case of Manfredi we see his rise to influence over almost all of Italy before it all came crashing down with the invasion of Charles of Anjou.